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August 21, 2005
NGOs AND OTHER ACTIVISTS – ANTI-HINDU INDUSTRY
Sunday, August 21, 2005
The rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in national politics was interpreted as the rise of Hindu nationalism for the first time since independence, partly because the BJP was perceived as the political offspring of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). More importantly however, the rise of the BJP was seen as an instance of the RSS once again affirming its presence in the Indian polity and RSS assertion in politics was in turn perceived as a conscious attempt to empower the Hindu community.
This was bad news for those who had made their fortunes and careers out of Nehruvian secularism and Hindu disempowerment. This book seeks to document the forces and agents, a veritable industry that thrives on Hindu powerlessness. Hindus are powerless to influence Indian polity even as the power of Hindu-baiters and religious minorities to define the course of the polity and public discourse increases in inverse proportion to Hindu incapacity.
The RSS was born of a need to give voice to and protect Hindu interests when it became obvious that the independence movement as it developed in the early 1900s was beginning to show signs of distancing itself from the Hindu character of its origins. From a very early period, the Indian National Congress showed signs of de-nationalising and secularizing the national movement, and this trend was continued inexorably even after Mahatma Gandhi assumed leadership of the movement in 1917. Although Gandhiji used language and symbols that struck a responsive chord in the Hindu community, he, like Gokhale eventually sought accommodation with the Muslim community on terms that whetted their appetite for more and more communal leverage. This made it easy for Jinnah to radicalize the Muslim community for a separate homeland.
By the beginning of the 1930s decade, it was obvious that Mahatma Gandhi could not halt either the secularization or the Islamisation of what was in the beginning a Hindu nationalist resistance movement to end not only British rule in India but also the nascent desire to re-impose Muslim rule after the departure of the British. RSS founder Dr. K.B. Hedgewar could foresee a rise in anti-Hindu sentiments and felt compelled to set up the RSS as a bulwark of Hindu society against a developing malaise. In less than two decades since the founding of the RSS, it became evident that Gandhiji was powerless to avert either the anti-Hindu Partition or the subsequent anti-Hindu polity in independent India.
This article is about certain individuals and non-government organizations that are normally found to be in the forefront of anti-India and anti-Hindu propaganda on various issues. Indeed, it finds a tangible relationship between the anti-India and the anti-Hindu, for there is simply no Indian nationalism that is contrary to or separate from Hindu nationalism. It is a natural corollary that the continuing attempts to de-Hinduize the polity have implications for national security and the relationship of religious minorities with Hindus and the Indian state.
The question arises whether de-Hinduising the polity is therefore an attempt to de-nationalize Hindu consciousness and more importantly ensure the political disempowerment of the Hindus. The political disempowerment of the Hindus has been achieved in great measure by thwarting every attempt by Hindu organizations, political parties and religious leaders to weld the Hindus into a decisive vote bank. What forces benefit from this goal? What tools do they employ, who are their agents, and what have they achieved so far?
We will be specifically examining the following issues:
1. De-nationalizing the Hindu consciousness aims at de-sensitizing the Hindu mind to the critical importance of territory for survival as a people. This was achieved in great measure when the Hindus were powerless to prevent the Partition by Islam in 1947. Jihadi Islam further enhanced these gains by ridding the Kashmir valley of Hindus through genocide and terror; a process still continuing in the rest of Jammu &Kashmir (J&K). In the North-East, Christian separatism and terrorism is mainly armed and funded by American Baptist, Evangelical and local churches.
2. This article seeks to draw attention to a loose coalition of opportunistic, specific-to-India, anti-Hindu Christians, Muslims, communists and Nehruvian secularists who actually advocate sedition when they condemn Indian nationalism and dismiss the concept of India's territorial integrity.
3. This group uses history and social 'science' to indoctrinate young and impressionable minds with their rootless agenda. It is hardly surprising that most individuals under scrutiny have been made members of the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) by the present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by the Congress party. The Congress-led UPA coalition defined itself as a ‘secular’ (as opposed to ‘communal’ Hindu) group and so rewarded these anti-Hindu activists who had made ‘anti-Hindu’ ism the basis of their activism. These individuals and groups distort history and historical truths, negate the nation’s Hindu civilizational moorings and deny the primacy of Hindu culture and ethos to propagate the twin myths that there is no ‘Hindu’ community and that India was always a ‘pluralist’ country. In this context, we will also examine the concept of ‘pluralism.’
4. The principal objective of these individuals and groups, who have conveniently found space in American academia, particularly in the Humanities and in ‘South Asian’ studies, is to propagate the concept of ‘South Asia’ which finds gleeful support from the US establishment and among the European countries. The purpose is twofold: One, to question or de-legitimize India's national borders and two, to negate the nation’s Hindu roots and character, which they realize is the essence of Indian national identity. The propagation of a faceless, characterless South Asian identity is due to a growing realization that Indian nationalism cannot ignore or marginalize the majority population. Hindus constitute 85% of the Indian population and Indian national identity, no matter much how one may try, cannot ignore the Hindu ethos, Hindu interests and Hindu sensibilities. The creation of an entity called ‘South Asia’ serves two critical objectives – one, it aims at bringing the Muslims of Pakistan and Bangladesh into the picture so that a de-Hinduised India and de-nationalized Hindus may be subsumed by a large, more organized and more vocal Muslim populace of the region and two, it has provided the overseas Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh in Europe and North America with the intellectual space which places them and all the attendant baggage of their Islamic identity in the company of non-resident Hindus of India. This is an issue in itself meriting greater attention.
5. The NGOs and activists use three principal devices to effect their de-Hinduising mission –
• Penetration and infiltration of ‘secularists’ (Muslims, Christians, Marxists and foreigners) into important political parties, Hindu social and religious institutions, and into important political families by marriage or by secretly converting close family members of political leaders to various Christian denominations.
• De-legitimising as ‘communal’ all issues that affect Hindu sensitivities.
• Raising the pitch on human rights whenever the state is compelled to deal sternly with the two most vocal and influential minority communities.
6. This anti-Hindu coalition uses NGO activism in ‘peace,’ education and health care as a façade to facilitate transfer of huge amounts of money from abroad either as support funds or as peace and human rights awards, and thereafter use it for political objectives.
7. This group articulates American and western slogans of human rights, religious freedom, and pluralism to strengthen the politics of minority-ism which is intended to weaken Hindu influence in the Indian polity. This diminution of Hindu influence is essential if these forces and their agents have to succeed in de-nationalizing the Indian State.
8. Politics of minority-ism includes softening Indian perception of Islam and jihad as a tool of foreign policy, forgetting the history behind the creation of Pakistan, ignoring Pakistan's stated objectives with regard to India, preventing the government from dealing ruthlessly with demographic aggression by Islam in the border districts and states through infiltration from Bangladesh, refusing to acknowledge or discuss the alarming rise in the birth rate of Muslims in India, in Pakistan and Bangladesh and ignoring Christian demographic aggression in the North-East and a growing number of districts in other parts of the country by foreign and domestic churches and Christian missionaries, the aim of which is perceived to be separatism, secession and the creation of new Christian nation-states on the lines of East Timor.
De-Hinduising the freedom movement
The attempt to de-nationalize Hindu consciousness and de-Hinduise the nation began even during the freedom movement with the rise of Nehru as Gandhiji's political heir. Retrospective analysis of past events is a legitimate tool for understanding history. In this light, it would appear that the Indian National Congress hijacked Hindu society’s national resistance movement and Gandhiji himself diluted the fierce Hindu nationalist resistance movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which was spearheaded by Hindu nationalists who rallied around the issue of cow slaughter. Sriman Swamy, Subramania Bharati, Veerapandi Kattabomman, Lala Lajpat Rai, Lokmanya Tilak, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru were typical of Hindu nationalist leadership and resistance.
A common tactic by the western world to dilute the commitment to ideology in important organizations, to erode nationalism, deaden threat perception or disarm resistance to a looming threat, is to infiltrate these very organizations and groups with their own race or with domestic stooges. Seen in this light, the fact that the Indian National Congress (INC or simply the Congress) was started by A.O. Hume and that soon thereafter the Congress hijacked the Hindu nationalist resistance movement comes as no surprise. Infiltration, beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing into early decades of the twentieth century was a tactic used to penetrate Hindu religious organizations and gurus at around the same time because India’s freedom movement began and gained momentum only as a Hindu resistance movement and Swami Vivekananda and Maharishi Aurobindo, carrying forward the struggle initiated by Sriman Swamy, were the most powerful and articulate symbols of Hindu religious resistance to the Christian/colonial rule. The penetration and infiltration by foreigners of important political and religious structures must be placed only in this context – that while the Hindus were using their religion to influence the polity from the standpoint of Hindu interests, the foreigners were engaged in influencing our polity with their religion to subvert the movement powered by Hindu nationalist aspirations.
The process of de-Hinduising the resistance movement began by de-nationalizing the resistance. A.O. Hume, Annie Besant, C F Andrews and Madeline Slade or Miraben, are important instances of such penetration and de-nationalization/de-Hinduisation. Incidentally Madame Blavatsky was a western occult practitioner and came to India looking for greener pastures. And lest we forget, Madeline Slade came to India to find Gandhiji after her meeting with Romain Rolland who allegedly described the Mahatma as being ‘another Christ’.
Annie Besant commanded a huge space in the polity as well as in the religious arena in India in the troubled years of early twentieth century. She was the successor to Madame Helena Blavatsky who together with Henry Olcott founded the Theosophical Society in Adyar in the then Madras, the intellectual capital of the nation and an important seat of Hindu orthodoxy. Blavatsky and Olcott’s early supporters and followers were AO Hume, the founder of the Indian National Congress, Annie Besant, an important functionary in the Indian National Congress and later its President in 1917, Charles Leadbeater, J Krishamurti’s early mentor, and the upper castes in the Hindu community who had been co-opted into the colonial administration and those that gravitated into the Congress to participate in the freedom movement. Having successfully penetrated and de-nationalised the political and religious arena these foreigners promoted Jiddu Krishnamurti, a Brahmin iconoclast in whom Annie Besant saw the new Messiah; the Theosophical movement headed by Annie Besant projected Krishnamurti as ‘The Rising Star of the East’, The World Teacher’. De-nationalising and de-Hinduising the freedom movement and Hindu religious spaces had begun in earnest.
Hindus comprised the bulk of J. Krishnamurti’s audience in India, and as could only be expected, his so-called ‘teachings’ at this critical point in India’s history, denied the legitimacy of Gurus and priests, sacred texts and tradition. Having severed his gullible Hindu acolytes from their roots, he then offered himself for cult worship in the ensuing vacuum. J.Krishnamurti was also a virulent critic of the concept of nation and nationalism. Sandeep Pandey, Nirmala Deshpande and Anand Patwardhan (a relative of Achyut Patwardhan one of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s leading acolytes) are typical products of ‘anti-nation’ Krishnamurti conditioning which currently clothes itself cosmetically in Gandhian garb. De-nationalising the freedom movement, de-culturising the English-educated Hindus, and de-Hinduising important institutions and organizations, was all perfectly dovetailed in the troubled years immediately preceding and following Partition when nationalist Hindus alone could have undertaken the Herculean task of nation building.
Not one of the illustrious foreigners mentioned above was content to melt into the mainstream of the organizations they penetrated as devotees; all rose to important positions within these groups - either gaining proximity to the leadership or eventually exercising considerable influence on the leadership. Some eventually rose to become centers of power themselves. One can observe a similar trend of infiltration today by foreigners in government, in administration, in important Hindu organizations and even in Hindu religious structures. The process of de-nationalising the Hindu consciousness has been resumed with a vengeance. The first wave of infiltration was the West's response to a resistance movement that was gathering momentum as a fierce Hindu nationalist movement and the current infiltration and other moves to de-Hinduise Hindu consciousness is in response to growing Hindu assertion in Indian polity and public spaces.
Besides our religious and socio-political organizations, the process of de-Hinduising the nation is being accentuated through neo-Islamisation of the polity and the secularization of the BJP. Unfortunately we do not perceive contemporary events in the polity as important steps in a de-Hinduisation continuum because as a nation we have not scrutinized the first wave of infiltration and unraveled the purpose behind it. Nehruvian secularism ensured that we did not scrutinize the infiltration, much less question it or even talk about it. Then, as now, infiltration by foreigners and secularists aims at checking growing Hindu political empowerment. Vigorous attempts by all denominations of churches to convert close family members of high profile politicians and socially and culturally important Hindu families is another potent weapon to compromise these politicians and the political parties to which they owe allegiance, even though the parties may remain oblivious of the truth – and thus silence prominent Hindus on issues arising from the politics of minority-ism.
The price of powerlessness
Gandhiji’s ahimsa was a complex weapon which he used with mixed results. In retrospect, while it put the colonial administration in a spot on several occasions, it also dampened the fire of resistance characteristic of Hindu society which had waged a relentless war of resistance and survival for almost 1200 years against waves of Muslim invasion, occupation and rule. Ahimsa also proved completely ineffective as a tool of engagement with the Muslims. Gandhiji’s unflinching insistence on ‘ahimsa’ as the only tool in the war for freedom robbed the resistance movement of its ferocity and sting because Hindu nationalists were rendered powerless to make the British pay with their blood for the sins of their Christian-colonial rule. Gandhiji’s accommodation bordering on self-destructive (for Hindus) indulgence of Muslims in the INC and their growing clout was the direct fallout of disarming and disempowering the Hindus. Along with Nehru's perverted indulgence of the Muslims of Jammu & Kashmir, this dealt the Hindus two mortal blows, one resulting in the Partition of India and the other culminating in the genocide of Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir. Hindus paid the price of their forced powerlessness; Hindu-baiters tasted blood.
Purna swaraj, an echo of the Hindu nationalist resistance movement, was given up by Gandhiji without serious demur after the movement was hijacked by Nehru. ‘Purna swaraj’ was surrendered for the lesser goal of independence which was only a shade different from the Dominian Status and Home Rule as advocated by the foreigners in the freedom movement and which came as a package along with western ideals of democracy and secular governance ‘nobly’ intended to be an example in contrast to the Islamic State of Pakistan, but whose real intention was to de-Hinduise the Hindu nation. By insidiously promoting a westernised dilettante like Nehru as Gandhi's political heir and rendering Gandhiji ineffective within the INC from the beginning of the 1930s decade, the British achieved two critically important objectives – the irreversible process of de-Hinduising the nation and creating the strategically important territory of Pakistan and the attendant ‘disputed’ territory of the equally strategically important J&K.
After the bloody Partition of 1947, the mission of de-Hinduising the nation continued in the guise of Nehruvian secularism (some call it Nehruvian Stalinism) which was accorded the status of high philosophy, second only to Advaita. Perversely, over the years following Partition, Islamic ideology spread its wings. Not content with an electoral alliance with Nehruvian secularism, it stretched itself into a cult of minority-ism and went on to forge alliances with anti-Hindu Marxist and Christian groups, becoming a bloated anti-Hindu monster that presides over the polity today. This book attempts to scrutinize this unholy anti-Hindu/de-Hinduising coalition.
Nation and nationalism
If nation is different from nation-state, then citizenship is different from nationality and patriotism different from nationalism. A nation’s identity determines its national interest. Some of the big components of national interest may be said to be – national security, interests of the majority, type of government, framework for inter-religious/inter-cultural or inter-ethnic relations within that country, and foreign policy. If Americans are debating what it means to be American, then the British are debating what it means to be British. In India we have not yet begun to discuss if India is different from Bharat which is different from Hindustan. We have not begun to discuss if all three mean the same or if there is a conceptual distinction to these names given that Hindus constitute 85% of the population. We have not begun to discuss yet if the name is really important as long as we, the intellectual and ruling elite, subscribe in the main to the contents of contemporary nation-state and therefore national identity is of no real consequence.
Which brings us to the question, what are the contents of the nation-state as it has evolved today? Broadly speaking, contemporary nation-state remains today as it was in the past, a creature of white Christian imagination – specifically Protestant Christian imagination. Its features are democracy, rule of law and secularism. Pluralism, individualism, free press, independent judiciary, human rights and religious freedom are hinged to the three cardinal features of this modern nation-state. Any one, more or all of these are used as weapons of containment by the U.S, the European Union and other western white Christian nations, the U.N and the Commonwealth, and their sundry human rights agents to pressure, coerce and harass countries like India, China and Russia. And whenever smaller countries like Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Venezuela and Malaysia have stood up to the bullying ways of these white Christian nations, these nations and their pan-optic instruments of power like the U.N and their human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have brandished these weapons of war-by-another-name threateningly.
That the modern nation-state is a creature of Anglo-Protestant intent is not a far-fetched argument by nationalist Hindu intellectuals. Samuel Huntington states -
‘The American Creed’ as initially formulated by Thomas Jefferson is the “crucial defining element of American identity. The Creed however was the product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding settlers of America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Key elements of the culture include: the English language; Christianity; religious commitment; English concepts of the rule of law, the responsibility of rulers, and the rights of individuals; and dissenting Protestant values of individualism, the work ethic, and the belief that humans have the ability and the duty to create a heaven on earth, a “city on a hill.”
And again, “If American identity is defined by a set of universal principles of liberty and democracy then presumably the promotion of these principles in other countries should be the primary goal of American foreign policy.”
And that is the core of the issue. That Huntington can state glibly that liberty and democracy are universal principles; and flowing from that presumption that the core of American and western foreign policy is the unabashed promotion abroad of what are essentially these Christian values. Samuel Huntington must be thanked for stating the obvious so bluntly – that foreign policy for the US and other white Christian countries is not about building international relationships on the basis of common or mutually beneficial interests but primarily to promote, establish and sustain Anglo-Protestant and Christian values packaged as democracy, sundry freedoms and rule of law. White Christian nations believe that just as their religion is the only path to the only truth, their concept of a nation-state is also the best and universally desirable. Without going deeper into what white Christian intentions are, we need to examine the implications of this browbeating foreign policy on India and how it is influencing domestic politics which in its turn is affecting the Hindus who constitute over 80% of the population.
Dispensing with nationalism
From around the mid-1990s, western intellectuals have sought to make a distinction between nationalism and patriotism and now, the distinction is more or less well-defined and the concepts not inter-changeable. Nationalism was described as being retrogressive because it defined itself in part in terms of how it was different from ‘them’. Essentially nationalism excluded ‘them’. Pope John Paul II gave voice to his dislike of nationalism in the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 because he perceived the growing nationalism in Russia and in some of the countries of Asia as being the most difficult impediment to the Church’s evangelizing mission.
Western governments too began to perceive the dangers of nationalism to their national interests as embodied in the new globalised economy which many developing nations perceived as being neo-colonial in intention and methods. It is from around the mid 1990s that western intellectuals and American think-tanks explicitly bad-mouth nationalism and all its dimensions – religious, cultural and economic. Simultaneously with bad-mouthing nationalism these agenda-setting groups also begin to talk of the imminent collapse of the nation-state and the world moving towards the post-nation-state era in history.
Explicitly articulated in this package is the threat that these White Christian nations reserve the right to intervene militarily and wage war against those nations that refuse to promote democracy, freedoms and rule of law (read Christian way of life). Chris Patten in Chennai told us all under the benevolent gaze of the current National Security Adviser, MK Narayanan that national sovereignty was like virginity and that we Indians tend to make too much of it. National sovereignty, like virginity, he said, was there one day and gone the next and nationalist Indians and the rest of the world must get used to the idea of ‘sharing’ (read surrendering) national sovereignty.
The brilliance and audacity of this Anglo-Protestant presumption proposes:
• National identity is bad because it breeds nationalism which is an impediment to their neo-colonial ambitions.
• Therefore national sovereignty for non-White Christian nations is dispensable.
• Why make a big deal of national sovereignty and national identity given that the nation-state is even otherwise on the verge of disappearing.
• The collapse of the nation-state will not lead the world to anarchy because White Christian nations would have enforced democracy, freedoms and rule of law in all parts of the world well in advance of this imminent collapse. What will be deliberately eroded is the nation while the state will remain. In this idyllic Utopia of Anglo-Protestant imagination, constitutions and rule of law will replace national soul and ethos.
• What all people of the world really need is good governance that respects individualism, pluralism, human rights, religious freedom and rule of law. People do not need ideology or exclusivist nationalism.
And so, Nationalism is passé. So is national sovereignty and so is territorial integrity. This is the crux of American foreign policy for the Third World. Glib declarations that the era of nation-states is over and that the world is entering the post nation-state phase in the evolution of world polity, the idea that nations must get used to 'sharing sovereignty', and describing nationalism as jingoism, xenophobia, tribalism and parochialism are intended only to force de-nationalized elites to reduce their nations to client markets of the old colonial countries. Is it surprising that no Western leader dared peddle such garbage in Europe after France and the Netherlands rejected the draft European Union Constitution? The idea that nation-states are irrelevant is being peddled by the US whose own growing military strength contradicts this assertion; obviously, it is only for external consumption. Countries attempting a coalition called the European Union to counterbalance American economic and military might have failed because their citizens perceive the move as being intended to erode national sovereignty and national identity.
The US, its arch rival Russia, and the European nations are fighting for influence in world affairs. The US and Europe stand to gain if other nations can be made to shed their nationalist moorings so that the two can divide between them the ‘shared’ sovereignty. ‘Sharing,’ of course, only means that ‘I keep all of what is mine, let me share yours.’ The structuring and articulation of this predatory foreign policy is not explicit, but is unambiguously implied. Nationalism and national sovereignty in the American/Bush foreign policy doctrine is taboo for nations of specific interest to America, which means just about every part of the globe where the US and Europe have converging/competing interests. Lending an added edge to US foreign policy (always aggressive at best and bullying at worst) is the overtly Christian agenda of the bible-holding incumbent President.
Even in the best of times, America has not been known to treat nationalist Heads of State kindly whenever their nationalism has meant being anti-American or anti-White Christian. Nationalist leaders of Communist regimes, democracies, and leaders of countries with other forms of governance have been removed summarily or neutralized through covert manipulation of domestic events for the sin of being anti-American and/or anti-White Christian. Suharto, Robert Mugabe, Allende, Patrice Lumumba, Mahattir Muhammad, Indira Gandhi, Hugo Chavez and Saddam Hussein are only some examples of adverse American interest. Even a non-compliant Secretary-General of the UN like Boutros Boutros-Ghali was replaced by the more pliant Kofi Annan. The US State Department is therefore taking more than a keen interest in Hindu nationalist organizations and powerful Hindu nationalists. The growing clout and affluence of the NGOs and activists under scrutiny may be attributed in large measure to the patronage extended by western nations, specifically the governments of the US and UK, and American and British donors of all persuasions.
NGOs as tools of containment
One perfectly crafted weapon of containment is NGO activism. Western nations have funded overtly and covertly and awarded and rewarded with ‘peace’ and human rights awards individuals and organizations taking up the cause of anti-nationalism, ‘peace,’ anti-nuclear programme, anti-war marches, human rights, religious freedom, environment and a host of issues which can paralyze a government or at least inhibit it from acting as it ought to in the national interest. The activities of some of these individuals and organizations, whose USP is a pathological hatred of Hindutva, have been subjected to critical scrutiny to see if they are contrary to the national interest and the Hindu interest. Those that deserve to be placed under the scanner include Teesta Setalvad, Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, Martin Macwan, Ram Puniyani, Arundhati Roy, Aruna Roy, Nirmala Deshpande, Angana Chatterji, Akhila Raman, Sandeep Pandey, Harsh Mander and others. The NGOs under scrutiny include the Navsarjan Trust, FOIL, SAHMAT, AID, ActionAid and ASHA.
A common denominator with all these bleeding heart 'peaceniks' is that they domestically advocate 'communal harmony' even in the face of Islamic jihad's relentless war against Hindus; promote 'peace' with Pakistan despite the fact that Pakistan has stubbornly refused to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure it has set up with state patronage. They continue to insist on a ‘peace’ dialogue with Pakistan despite the fact that every act of jihadi terror around the world has a Pakistani connection and despite the fact that there is neither peace nor harmony between Hindu victims and local Muslims in Jammu & Kashmir. These bleeding heart activists also advocate ‘peace’ in utter disregard of Pakistan's stated objectives vis a vis 'Hindu' India.
Further, there is complete non-cognizance of the fact that while Christians and Muslims may be waging a war to the finish in different parts of the world, while Catholics and Protestants may be killing each other in Northern Ireland and in fierce competition in the UK and the US, while Shias and Sunnis may be at each other’s throats in Pakistan and the entire Islamic world, while the stated ideology of Communism is to treat all religions as adversaries, in India, the Christians, Muslims and Communists have forged a powerful anti-Hindu alliance and work in tandem, with powerful support from the US and this anti-Hindu coalition of Marxists-Muslims and Missionaries came together most visibly in the name of Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) with the single-point agenda of pressuring the US establishment to deny Narendra Modi visa to visit the U.S in April 2005.
There can hardly be doubts on this score. All 'advocacy' artists have been rewarded with peace and human rights awards by western governments and international human rights organizations, almost invariably for taking an anti-Hindu position on political issues. These peace awardees and human rights activists are essentially political activists playing for big stakes. Persons like Martin Macwan, Harsh Mander, Arundhati Roy and Sandeep Pandey, no matter how persuasively the de-culturised domestic English media and international community may try to package them, are political activists rather than social workers. Their social activism and peace talk is a front, a mask for the greater war against political Hindus and Hindu nationalism. Naturally therefore, they are anti-military, anti-police, anti-nuclear, anti-Hindu, anti-RSS and anti-Hindu-view-of-history. Each of these ‘anti’ stances has been a well-planned battle in the war against the Hindu nation and Indian/Hindu nationalism.
This is readily discerned when these activists denounce Hindutva and nationalism in the same breath. In their public discourses, speeches and writings, Hindutva is co-terminus with nationalism; they have thus unwittingly strengthened the perception that Hindutva is only Indian nationalism. Hence, when they attack Hindutva and belittle nationalism, these NGOs and activists also deride the nation and national integrity. They condemn Hindu religious and political consciousness in virulent language. There is no American/Western patronage to be won for nationalism or the Hindu cause, but there is big money and powerful patrons in activism which issues shrill calls for doing away with nationalism and which supports the surrender of territory. There is big money in the politics of minority-ism and in issues that serve, intentionally or otherwise, Western and American interests.
All above mentioned peace awardees and human rights activists have been feted and wined and dined by the international community (read White Christian nations and their human rights industry) in the years between 1996-2004 when the BJP-led coalition ruled the country, first for 13 days and then for six years. It seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that they were being rewarded for the virulent anti-Hindu and anti-BJP/RSS campaign they spearheaded. They obediently articulated the US-Western position on the status of J&K, India's nuclear weapons programme, the politics of minority-ism, US State Department views on religious freedom, Dalit rights, women's rights and human rights and condoned nuclear apartheid by calling for de-nuclearising ‘South Asia’ alone. If evidence is needed of the US-NGO-Activist link, it can be seen in the fact that the very groups and individuals who raised the pitch on these issues and pushed the BJP into a corner and made Hindus defensive about their assertion in the polity, were subsequently used by the American State Department to gather information on domestic events to compile its annual reports on human rights and religious freedom.
This partnership serves both sides well. The Americans use this group to check and bad-mouth growing Hindu influence in Indian polity and Indian nationalism while American and Western patronage gives these individuals and groups international visibility. Choosing to serve American-Western interests helped these individuals to find niches in American academia and in Indian and foreign media, besides access to funds and ‘support in kind’ from powerful patrons outside India.
Pluralism antithetic to nationalism
Forcibly bringing down the Babri Masjid from the site of the Ramjanmabhumi on the 6th December 1992 was the first major step in independent India by the Hindus towards re-assertion and re-ordering of public spaces. The 1990s decade saw the rise of Hindu nationalism – the growing strength of the BJP, the coming to power of the BJP led NDA and India making the major leap towards becoming a nuclear weapons state. Not surprisingly, given the rapidly changing geo-politics of the region, this decade also saw the corresponding mushrooming of anti-Hindu NGOs and other freelance political activists, a coalition of Marxists-Muslims-Missionaries and Nehruvian secularists, who began to position themselves openly against the Hindus of the country. A virulent and abusive campaign was launched by these activists and NGOs in these years against the RSS and the BJP because they were perceived as vehicles of Hindu nationalism and instruments of Hindu empowerment.
Assertive Hindu presence in public spaces and in the Indian polity challenged the sway of Nehruvian secularism and this new breed of foreign-funded, globe-trotting activists began to define explicitly and for the first time since independence the Nehruvian secularist understanding of India. This group derived its intellectual input from Indian academia as represented by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) and the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), which best exemplified Nehruvian secularism. Successive Congress governments at the center packed these academic institutions with Marxist historians and ‘scholars’ of pseudo sciences like ‘political science’ and ‘social science’ whose single point agenda was to promote the concept of ‘pluralism’. ‘Pluralism’ or its modern, western nomenclature multi-culturism rose as a ‘civilising’ concept in White-Christian civilizations which were historically intolerant and genocidal towards other world views and other ways of life. Pluralism in the nation-state era of western civilization’s political evolution was therefore made a compulsory virtue of liberal western democracy.
Marxist historians and pseudo scientists in academia who thrived and perpetuated themselves and their breed under Nehruvian secularism earned their salaries for attributing a ‘pluralist’ character to the Indian nation. Denying that there ever was a Hindu nation, these secular academicians project the India of their imagination as having always been ‘pluralist’ implying thereby that there were large sections of the populace outside the fold of Sanatana Dharma. It was under the patronage of this group that the writing of ‘sub-altern’ history reached its peak in Indian academia. The anti-Hindu/de-Hinduising industry of this group of Nehruvian secularist historians peddling ‘pluralism’ in academe and public discourse, rested on two enormous lies – The Aryan Invasion Theory and ‘India became a nation only because of the British’. The pluralism that was peddled by this group derived its legitimacy from these two unconscionable lies. The first equated Hinduism with Brahmins and Brahminism while the second denied that India was ever a nation prior to colonial administration. Now in one stroke, these two lies read together conveniently fragmented Hindu society, placed important sections of the Hindu community either outside national borders or outside the pale of the community altogether, and rejected the truth of the Indian/Hindu nation. This provided the liars in academia and activism with the much needed theoretical space to include all stubbornly separatist elements within the pluralist nation of their creative imagination.
A ‘nation’ suggests commonality, a common relatedness that forms the basis for ‘nationhood’. A ‘nation’ is therefore the very antithesis of pluralist co-habitation within national borders as the US and other western nations of Europe are beginning to realize now. Pluralism, they are beginning to understand (something nationalist Indians understood over 60 years ago) provides pan-national identities the space in democracies to perpetuate themselves into a critical mass which eventually poses the biggest challenge to the idea of nation, national security and the territorial integrity of countries.
Pluralism guarantees these identities the right to remain as indigestible elements within the nation’s body politic. White European and White American Christians are now discovering the problems of living in multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies where they find their Christian values and their racial, ethnic and religious supremacist way of life coming under increasing pressure. More critically for them they are coming to terms with the fact that pluralism or multi-culturism and religious freedom which their democracies are obliged to guarantee and support, provides the indigestible elements of their nation the right to enjoy the benefits of citizenship without the matching emotional commitment or loyalty to protect the nation or its nationhood. The jihadi terror let loose in London in July 2005 was masterminded and executed by Muslims born and raised in Britain. They were British citizens but they were Muslim nationals emotionally with loyalty only to the Muslim Ummah.
The Islamization of Europe, the Hispanization of the U.S and the ever increasing immigration from Asia and other regions of the world into their countries, and increasing jihadi terrorist attacks by their own citizens on their soil is forcing nervous White Christian nations to re-examine issues of national identity and national ethos. ‘What does it mean to be American, What does it mean to be British, should Christianity be stated to be the religion of the European Union in the EU Constitution are questions that are being increasingly and openly debated under pressure from ‘pluralism’. And these countries are forced to examine the “salience and substance” of their national identity because what is threatening their national identity and security are the very features of a modern nation-state and the compulsions of western liberal democracy that they have been insisting are universally desirable.
Christian and Muslim societies and nations have been racially, ethnically or religiously homogenous until very recently in their history. The ‘only one God, only one path’ obsession of both religions never allowed the demography of other races and religions to pose a threat to their supremacy; (while Native Americans have been almost exterminated from their homeland and constitute barely five percent of the population, the population of black Americans has been kept static at 12% for nearly a century). Europeans moved out to colonise other continents but never permitted other continents to inhabit their nations in destabilizing large numbers until the last fifty years or even less. And whenever racial, ethnic or religious demography has been disturbed and sharply altered in the territories controlled by Islam or Christianity or in their vicinity, it has always led to bloody wars across borders or bloody civil wars within their own borders. All this is known history.
September 11 and 7 July have compelled the US, Europe and other white Christian countries to deal with issues going beyond terrorism. Issues like rapidly-changing cultural and religious demography, increasing assertiveness of sub-national and pan-national identities of minorities affecting social stability and threatening national security, policy making and law making which have a bearing upon minorities and immigrant communities and which raise legitimate questions about human rights and civil liberties, and much, much more are cropping up within their countries with increasing frequency. It is delicious irony if only because these countries until recently used these very issues to hector and lecture to non-White, non-Christian countries where they have political and strategic interests. Grappling with these issues all at once and at the same time, these white Christian countries are being compelled to re-examine the concept of ‘pluralism’, the importance of national identity, and the substance of their national identity and nationhood. And soon these countries will begin to confront the thorny question of whether national identity and nationhood can be defined without taking into account the religious and cultural ethos of the majority population.
At home, pluralism provided the Muslim-Missionary-Marxist-Nehruvian secularist combine with the political space to develop the polity and policies of minority-ism. Politics of minority-ism is made possible only by ‘pluralism’. Pluralism as stated earlier, legitimizes indigestible elements in the national mainstream. These are elements which refuse stubbornly to assimilate themselves in the common or general national ethos. Their insistence on maintaining their sub-national or pan-national identities without subsuming it in the national ethos creates the minority identity. The minority identity, needless to say, posits itself against the majority population of the country.
Pluralism, Nehruvian secularism and politics of minority-ism are symbiotic political attitudes which have assumed a virulent anti-Hindu bias. Besides unabashedly flaunting the anti-Hindu bias, this monstrous coalition has distorted public discourse on any issue that concerns the Christian and Muslim minority population even when such issues have a bearing upon national security and particularly when these issues affect Hindu interests.
The face of powerlessness
That independent India will not be a Hindu India in letter and spirit became evident as the Constituent Assembly began to debate the contours and contents of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Constitution, as it began to take shape, laid the foundation of what was not just a de-Hinduised polity and administration but that which was actively hostile to Hindus and the Hindu religion. The freedom movement by tactics discussed earlier had been effectively de-Hinduised by then and the Hindu leadership was powerless to use 1947 as an opportunity to regain control of state power.
This was the face of Hindu powerlessness in its essence – that nationalist Hindus like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Madanmohan Malaviya, and KM Munshi could not regain control of state power. Hindus had surrendered control of the state for very long and Maharishi Aurobindo, Sriman Swami, Subrahmanya Bharati and Mahatma Gandhi understood the terrible importance of state power for protecting the Hindus, the territory of the Hindu homeland and the Hindu way of life.
But this was not to be. Through tactical interventions like penetration and infiltration, by covertly goading the Muslims towards separatism followed by violent partition and by legitimizing Nehru over Gandhiji, the British had succeeded in disempowering the Hindus yet again and it was this leadership which presided over partition of Hindu territory and which later represented the Hindus in the Constituent Assembly; only the overwhelming majority of the Hindus in the Constituent Assembly had already been converted to Nehruvian secularism by then.
Rajeev Srinivasan in his column in Rediff lists the forms that this anti-Hindu polity has taken in independent India legally and constitutionally and I quote –
• looting Hindu temples through control of their finances (and only theirs; while providing largesse for others); wealthy churches and mosques get huge amounts of foreign money for conversion purposes, but this is not even audited;
• declaring open season for conversion, which is clearly violence against Hindus because only they are victimised and are never the proselytisers;
• discriminating against them by only allowing non-Hindus to run educational institutions (thus preparing the way for generations of Hindus to be brainwashed and alienated;
• delegitimising and destroying Sanskrit and Indological studies;
• creating and assiduously cultivating a negative Marxist interpretation of Hinduism and making it the state-supported official view;
• continuously insulting Hindu tradition by labeling it primitive and superstitious, whereas it is highly rational and scientific;
• negating Hindu history itself and brushing under the carpet massive Islamic and Christian damage done to it;
• ignoring all human rights violations against Hindus;
• propagating as State ideology something called 'secularism', which in essence means oppression of Hindus.
To Rajeev’s list I would add the following:
• Reject the word ‘Hindu’ so that the content of the word is rendered wide open to opportunistic definitions
• By removing the protective umbrella of the word ‘Hindu’ from specific communities, to encourage and actively support the fragmentation of the Hindu community, both through intellectual formulations in academia and public discourse, and by NGO activism at the grassroots of Hindu society. By insisting that some communities like the Harijans and tribals are not Hindus these intellectuals legitimize and even actively encourage religious conversion
• Supplant the natural diversity of the Hindu civilization with the concept of ‘pluralism’ which is antithetic to nation, to enable the accentuation of sub-national and pan-national identities
• Re-write history in a manner that explicitly insults Hindu sensibilities and faith, and which makes out centuries of Muslim invasion and occupation as being nothing else but a culturally enriching phase of Indian history – a phase that gave us Sufi poetry and the Taj Mahal. A serving Chief Justice of the Madras High Court very recently went so far as to say that the Mughal Empire was founded on justice.
Hindu nationalism is under great pressure from its adversaries at home and abroad. Its political voice has been secularized and thus disabled from serving Hindu interests. Whether Ayodhya or Article 370, whether seeking to ban cow slaughter or enforcing the Uniform Civil Code, whether striving to regain control of temple administration or seeking to check the flow of foreign funds to Christian churches and charitable organizations, the Hindus have been rendered powerless from influencing the polity or the judiciary on any issue. And this is the measure of the success of this anti-Hindu coalition operating under the protective umbrella of Nehruvian secularism.
What is happening to the BJP now is not dissimilar to what happened to the Congress in 1947; and the tactics being adopted now by western powers and its ally the de-nationalised Congress to weaken the Hindu BJP vis a vis a loosely aligned coalition of Nehruvian secularists, is similar to the tactics employed by the British administration then to weaken the Congress vis a vis the Muslim League. The objective always has been to weaken the resolve of important Hindus, Hindus with the power and the influence to make a difference, from making any attempt to restructure the polity which will wear the face of a Hindu nation; and when even in the face of extreme opposition such attempts were made, to abort it or thwart in it an exemplary manner.
Even in the face of bitter opposition from Nehru, Hindu nationalists rallied themselves together to re-build the Somnath temple but that was the last major assertion by the Hindus before Nehruvian secularism took over the country. Let us remember that no leader who opposed Nehru or Nehruvian secularism was allowed to remain in the forefront of Indian polity or public life in the immediate years after independence. It is obvious that Nehru by himself could not have shaped the course of Indian polity then. Bringing down the Babri Masjid in 1992 followed by the nuclear tests in 1998 were the first and last major nationalist moves by the BJP before it was rendered hors-de combat. The international sanctions that were slapped on India following Pokharan II, the rise of the Italian Sonia Gandhi within the Congress and subsequently in national politics at this time, the new breed of young parliamentarians from powerful political families married to foreigners, denial of visa to Narendra Modi by the US government, the highly intrusive role adopted by the US State Department in India’s internal policies must be seen as a continuum of decapitating the Hindu movement and thwarting any attempt of the Hindus to organize themselves into a powerful political force.
The individuals and organizations which have played a major role in the promotion of the politics of minority-ism and the politics of Nehruvian secularism deserve to be closely scrutinized and exposed. This is a virulent anti-Hindu coalition which has made a living from being the obliging shouting brigade of the forces that seek to keep Hindu assertion at bay. While this group which formed itself into an alliance named Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) chortled with glee when the US State Department denied visa to Narendra Modi, political observers smiled cynically because the US has one set of rules for ‘freedom fighter’ Yasser Arafat who was treated like an untouchable while another set of rules governs it with regard to ‘freedom fighter’ Gerry Adams who gets invited for photo ops in the White House. The US has one set of rules for Musharraf and terrorism against India while another set of rules govern its views on Serb leader Slobodan Milosevich.
The US State Department’s treatment of Narendra Modi was meant to be a warning signal to the BJP that the US would not countenance Hindu nationalism. Hindu nationalism poses the biggest threat to western neo-colonialism, Christian missionary hegemony and Islamic jihad. While the three offspring of the same parent have engaged in murderous wars during different periods in world history, not one of them has the capacity to end the other two. For the Hindus of India all three pose a major threat to their survival and to their territory while Hindu nationalism’s capacity for sturdy resistance poses not only the conceptual threat to their world view but also a physical threat to their existence on the territory that is still controlled by Sanatana Dharma. And that is why these forces are arraigned against Hindus and Hindu nationalism. This article is intended to serve notice on this anti-Hindu coalition and its masters.
Posted by Naxal Watch at 9:31 AM
Hindus are much more empowered in India than Muslims. Its sheer fact. Look at the statics of % of hindus in Govt/Private sector. Look at our parliament itself..
All these doesnot go well with your new found theory that no one was looking after the interest of Hindus!! Congress is and was dominated by Hindus..Gandhi Ji himself was a devout Hindu .
Don't know you are halucinating or what!! You are trying to make Hindu community a victim!! Telling a lie hundred times makes the lie a truth or what ? yes, indeed for fanatics like you..you represent the Jihadist element in Hindu community..Good news is not many are buying your argument.
Question: Are u guys on payroll of nuthead hindutva groups in US?
November 27, 2005 7:51 PM
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