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April 18, 2014 Leave a comment

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How Kerala Has India’s Highest Spending Inequity | IndiaSpend

March 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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When an aam aadmi IT engineer was put on bench and protested for a project… | The UnReal Times

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The BJP’s first and lasting mistake

By Mani Shankar Aiyar, March 03, 2014

In the most mealy-mouthed statement ever to emerge from the politics of hypocrisy, the BJP President, Rajnath Singh, has said his party is ready to apologize to our minorities for their “mistakes, if any”. Rajnathaji does not seem to recognize that his party’s very existence is their first and lasting “mistake”. For the BJP is the political ‘mukhauta’ of the Sangh Parivar. And the Sangh Parivar’s origins lie in the RSS. And the author of the RSS’s political philosophy was VD Savarkar, whose one word, ‘Hindutva’, has for the better part of a century given the Sangh Parivar its distinctive character and its obnoxious manifesto.

What does ‘Hindutva’ mean? It does not mean “Hinduism” as a religion – for Savarkar was, after all, an avowed atheist. Savarkar, whose English was impeccable, himself translated this strange word he had invented into meaning “Hindudom” in, he said, the same sense as rule by Christians has been known in the West as “Christendom”.

He was explicit in deploring what he regarded as a thousand years of Muslim rule that preceded colonial rule and, therefore, sought liberation from both the Brits and the Muslims (at the time when the Muslims constituted less than a quarter of our pre-partition population). What Savarkar, therefore, postulated was the replacement of British rule by Hindu rule. The mainstream Freedom Movement stood, in sharp contrast, for the replacement of colonial rule by Indian rule, for a secular state not “Hindudom”.

Fascinated with this concept, evolved by Savarkar while he was under house imprisonment in Ratnagiri after he secured his release from the Andamans by pleading with the British to have compassion for his youth, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, then toying with the idea of creating the RSS, rushed to meet him – and became, in effect, Savarkar’s first chela for this new philosophy.

In We, or Our Nationhood Defined MS Golwalkar, the leading ideologue of the RSS, further refined the concept of Hindu India’s nationhood to exclude all those who were either not born in this land or who looked beyond its borders for spiritual inspiration. The target was explicitly identified as the Muslims who, it was stated, might continue to live here but only as “guests” and who would cease to have any rights if they transgressed any element of the quintessentially Hindu ethos of the country.

Golwalkar also expressed his great admiration for Hitler. After Hitler was defeated and the RSS came under scrutiny for its possible role in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, the RSS distanced themselves from this publication saying it was not authorized. However that may be, Savarkar, in a statement from Nagpur, ironically datelined 15 August 1943, four years to the day before India was due for her tryst with destiny, said he completely agreed with Jinnah that there were in fact two nations inhabiting this land, a Hindu nation and a Muslim nation, and it was the Hindu nation that he wished to see privileged.

Fanning out from this poisonous proposition, several fringe groups came into existence, one of which spawned the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. The germane “mistake” that Rajnathji should first apologize for is the systematic stigmatization and exclusion of our religious minorities that lies at the heart of ‘Hindutva’.

It is such stigmatization and exclusion that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. In the run-up to that demolition, LK Advani was quoted as saying that all Muslims who live in India are “Hindu Muslims” and all Christians must acknowledge that they are “Hindu Christians”. Advani never answered my question as to whether he was a Hindu or a “Hindu Hindu” – but he certainly shed copious crocodile tears as his Rath Yatra led inexorably to the “mistake” of the Babri Masjid being demolished brick by brick in front of his eyes. Vajpayee earned himself the title of ‘mukhauta’ for distancing himself from this un-forgiven and unforgivable insult and injury to our 15 crore strong Muslim community. (So also, PV Narasimha Rao was never forgiven for having sat on his hands doing nothing while this outrage was taking place).

Rajnath Singh then was a key BJP leader of Uttar Pradesh while all this was underway. Today, having lost the Hindu vote since genuine Hindus have nothing against their Islamic brethren, he hints that his attitude in 1992 might have been a “mistake”.

That is akin to Narendra Modi dismissing the victims of the post-Godhra riots as “puppies” that came under the wheels of a hit-and run car (while he himself rested comfortably in the back-seat). So long as Muslims are contemptuously referred to as “Mian” and told they cannot have heir own Personal Law, as guaranteed by the Constitution, or that the special measures taken in favour of their community amount to “tushtikaran”, it is the very existence of the BJP that remains not just their biggest “mistake,” but the biggest sin the Sangh Parivar has to exorcise before we can cease accusing them of dividing the country on communal lines.

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Ukraine mobilizes after Putin’s ‘declaration of war’

KIEV/BALACLAVA, Ukraine, March 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor in Moscow’s biggest confronta…

Reuters – Sunday, March 2, 2014

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January 24, 2014 Leave a comment
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Riyadh metro to be 73 km underground

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment
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