Arun Shourie

Arrest over photo-shopped image: A curse has befallen on Mamata’s Bengal

(It’s a reprint from NewsBred).

This is a poser for you, readers. Please tell us what’s common amongst Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi, Tejaswi Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Barkha Dutt, Shekhar Gupta, Naseeruddin Shah, Aamir Khan, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Swara Bhaskar, Pritish Nandy, Vir Sanghvi, Karan Thapar, Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Raveesh Kumar, Rana Ayoob, Saba Naqvi, Ramachandra Guha, Harsh Mander, Apoorvanand, Faizan Mustafa, Siddharth Vardharajan, Sadanand Dhume, Christophe Jaffrelot etc. Stumped?

Ok, let me try to suggest a few alternatives to you: (a) They all are anti-Modi; (b) They all stand for “freedom of speech”; (c) They all are for democratic, secular values; (d) they all are against totalitarianism; (e) They all are for feminism and stand for equality and dignity of women; (f) for freedom of press; (g) they are all of the above.

One option which you all must have missed and I would name now is that they all are SILENT on arrest of BJP’s young leader Priyanka Sharma by the totalitarian government of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. Like they were silent when CBI officers were held as hostages; police officers under probe being shielded; violence in elections; opposition candidates unable to file their nomination papers; TMC goons forcing voters favourably in polling booths; arrests on mere chants of “Jai Shri Ram”; scuttling of Ayushman Bharat only because it’s BJP’s scheme; Refusing to pick up Modi’s phone on Fani cyclone because she doesn’t consider PM a PM; refusing to let BJP land helicopters for scheduled rally; preferring Ramzan over Durga Puja; custom officials harassed only because they found 2kg gold in the bags of wife of Mamata’s nephew; number of alleged scams etc.

I cite these instances to show how fake are these forces and the ethical and moral cloak they use to hide their agenda. But at a more urgent level, this has probably encouraged Mamata Banerjee to go berserk. Look at the issue of Priyanka Sharma. She circulates a photo-shopped image of Mamata Banerjee, imposed over a latest picture of actress Priyanka Chopra. A complaint is filed and she is sent to 14-day judicial remedy. Mind you, Priyanka Sharma hasn’t created the image, only shared it. Yet amongst thousands of such shares, she alone has been made to bear the brunt of suppression. The clear corollary is that she is made to suffer because of her political affiliation which Mamata can’t stand.

Yet these forces are silent. Even as the hashtag #ISupportPriyankaSharma on twitter is building up a considerable steam. Twitteratis are so upset that they are changing profile picture with the one which has landed Priyanka Sharma in trouble. “Arrest me, if you must,” is an assertion by many twitter-users under the above hashtag. Yet none of these forces are taking note. A BJP worker is jailed for sharing photo yet it’s Modi who’s a “Hitler.”

Newspapers are wrongly defined as a bridge between people and the government. In Lutyens Media, people don’t matter. Or only a certain kind matter.  A Modi is hauled for uttering “Bhrashtachari No.1” while a Mamata Banerjee can get away literally with murder.  Remember, she recently said she would put pebbles in soil and present it as rasogoolas so it breaks Modi’s teeth? How did these forces react? Silence.

I remember an instance when RSS ideologue Prof. Rakesh Sinha had a non-bailable warrant issued against him by West Bengal police for posting a picture of his with his mother in Mahakal temple in Ujjain. The West Bengal police acted on the complaint of an individual who felt Sinha’s “provocative” picture spoilt the communal harmony in the state! An aghast Sinha didn’t know what hit him. “I haven’t even visited West Bengal in the last two years,” a baffled Prof. Sinha had said. Where was the outrage from these soldiers of “democracy”?

The sixth phase of 2019 General Elections would be over on Sunday. Election Commission, worried over history of violence in West Bengal during elections, spread the one in the state to all seven phases. Yet, even the cover of central armed forces haven’t been much of a help. In each of the six phases so far, violence has happened; cases of rigging have been reported. Yet the names mentioned above haven’t bat even an eyelid. Shekhar Gupta, head of Editors’ Guild, instead is drooling over Mamata “fighting fire with fire, venom with venom.” A Rajdeep Sardesai is gushing and asking Mamata Banerjee the secret of her energy. (Boost, of course, you terrible).

A real Mamata Banerjee is very different from the Mother Teresa-like sari she wears.  Her autobiography conveys the image of a woman who likes to play the victim card. She is deeply insecure about losing control. She is also extremely star-struck. Just look at the number of MPs, MLAs and ministers who are stars and starlets in West Bengal. A whole lot of them were recruited in 2014 General Elections. Many more have been made candidates for the 2019 General Polls. Why, she even got a few from across the border to do her bidding.

This piece is just not about naming game. The most troubling is the intimidation which any Indian citizen in any state could be subjected to by the longest arm of law in West Bengal. Judiciary hasn’t been much of a help. Nor the Centre who many believe should’ve imposed President’s Rule in West Bengal seasons ago. Even Islamic State declaring they have an emir in West Bengal hasn’t brought home the horrible truth that West Bengal could be a beehive of Islamic/Jihadists designs today.

West Bengal is slipping out of Union. All the ideals enshrined in our holy book, the Constitution, are being butchered today. The worry is, we are all being reduced to spectators. Some by design, some by helplessness. Time for a saviour. Maybe, May 23 could throw up light.

Amen.

 

Digvijay Singh is not the only “saffron terror” mongerer

It’s Digvijay Singh’s moment of truth on “saffron terror.” Sadhvi Pragya probably would make him pay for it in Bhopal. There are many though who wouldn’t be called to account. Let’s name them too and hold them up in public eye.

“Modern India” by Bipan Chandra was once the history textbook for Class XII, published by NCERT (1996). The book’s editorial board included S. Gopal, S. Nurul Hasan, Satish Chandra and Romila Thapar.  It has a passage on Muslim League in these words:

“The Muslim League propaganda gained by the existence of such communal bodies among the Hindus as the Hindu Mahasabha. The Hindu communalists echoed the Muslim communalists by declaring that the Hindus were a distinct nation and that India was the land of the Hindus. Thus they (Muslim League) too accepted the two-nation theory.” (Page 223)

The passage continues:

“In one respect, Hindu communalism had even less justification…The Hindu communal view of history also relied on the myth that Indian society and culture had reached great, ideal heights in the ancient period from which they fell into permanent and continuous decay during the medieval period because of “Muslim” rule and domination. (Page 223)

“They identified Indian culture and the Indian nation with the Hindu religion and Hindus…For example, Tilak’s propagation of the Shivaji and Ganapati festivals, Aurobindo Ghose’s semi-mystical concept of India as mother and nationalism as religion, the terrorists’ oath before goddess Kali, and the initiation of the anti-Partition agitation which dips in the Ganga could hardly appeal to the Muslims…Nor could Muslims be expected to respond with full enthusiasm when they saw Shivaji or Pratap being hailed… (Page 231)

“The Hiindu tinge also create ideological openings for Hindu communalism and made it difficult for the nationalist movement to eliminate the Hindu communal, political and ideological elements within its own ranks. It also helped the spread of a Muslim tinge among Muslim nationalists. (Page 232)

“Many in the Muslim middle class went to the extent of turning to the history of West Asia for their traditions and moments of pride.” (Page 232)

Got it? The implication is that Muslim League was communal because Hindu communalists kind of forced their hands! Muslim League which toed the British line and used religion to tear up the nation, did all that because Hindu communalists forced their hands. Bravo.

So Indian Muslims turned towards the history of West Asia because Hindu communalists left them with no option. That the tradition demands they turn towards Kaaba for prayers five times a day, treat Mecca and Madina as holy places.  But somehow, in case of Indian Muslims, they all did so because Hindu communalists left them with no option but to turn to their West Asia traditions.  . It doesn’t matter that hadiths after hadiths, fatwas after fatwas direct believers to subjugate and suppress non-believers. Why bring to attention the uncomfortable fact that the Prophet asks the believers to “love the Arabs for three reasons: because I am an Arab, the Quran is Arabic and the inhabitants of Paradise will speak Arabic.” (Eminent Historians: Arun Shourie, Page 122)

The truth is Islam asks its adherents to be truthful to its West Asia tradition of Arabs and Arabic language alone. Hindu communalists have nothing to do with it. VS Naipaul gives a poignant account of it in his book “Beyond Belief.”

“Islam is in its origins an Arab religion. Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s world view alters. His holy places are in Arab lands; his sacred language is Arabic. His idea of history alters. He rejects his own; he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his…”

From its very advent in India, Islam looked for converts and domination of its religion. The conversion ceremony was a violent rupture for a convert from his Hindu past. That’s why a convert had to eat beef openly in public view, a violent rupture from his Hindu belief that cow is sacred. (Eminent Historians: Arun Shourie, Page 123)

Muslims didn’t distance themselves from the nationalist narrative because of Hindu communalists. Quran terms idolaters as the “worst of creatures” and “that they shall be in hellfire to dwell forever therein.” That the idolaters block the believers’ path to Allah. (Eminent Historians: Arun Shourie, Page 129)

So Muslim League didn’t need a Tilak and his propagation of Ganapati Mahotsava to stay away from the nationalist movement. It wasn’t Aurobindo or Gandhi which made it shrink from the nationalist cause. Dayanand or Aurobindo didn’t push Muslims into believing that idolaters were conspiring against them.

The chicanery of Bipan Chandra doesn’t stop here. He says: “Communalism has been rightly described as political trade in religion. Religion was used, after 1937, as a mobilizing factor by the communalists.” (Modern India, Page 232-33)

It was Jinnah and Muslim League which used religion after 1937 as a mobilizing force. But Bipan Chandra makes a generic and not specific mention, implying that both Hindus and Muslims used religion to mobilize people after 1937.

So parents you  are urged to look at the history books of your kids. Point out such passages which are a distortion of Hindu identity, religion and politics. You are mistaken if you believe it has all begun with Digvijay Singh.

Soz now has Sardar Patel on target; and Congress is silent

(This is a reprint from NewsBred)

Controversial Congress leader Saifuddin Soz launched his book in the Capital on Monday. Two things were of interest to average Indians: (a) Would Congress be seen in public with the leader who echoes secessionists’ voices; (b) Would Congress respect the popular sentiment and punish its key man in the Kashmir Valley.

Soz in the past one week has brought the focus on Congress and its’ exchanges with the secessionist forces. Officially, Congress dubbed Soz’s statements as stray remarks and “cheap gimmick”. The party also talked about the state unit taking action against him.

However, even as Congress threatened action, Soz continued speaking the voice of secessionists to the media, stating that Kashmiris would prefer freedom.. This was incongruous and appeared a classic smokescreen: to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

Hence the interest in the book launch of Soz and the related two questions, uppermost in mind. There was no live coverage of the event but TV news and newspapers this morning were all airbrushed versions: Manmohan-skips; Chidambaram-stays-away-as-panelist etc. There was no media questioning on what senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was doing in the event. Is he not part of Congress? And isn’t his presence a soft message to Soz that he remains one of the boys?

So has Congress really distanced itself from Soz??? Or would it distance itself from Jairam Ramesh???

Now look at what Congress has promised as action against Soz: It has said that it’s the state unit which will take an action. Really??? Since when state units have mattered to hideously dynastic Congress? Since when state units could take decisions independent of central command? And if the state unit absolves Soz of any guilt, may be a week, a month or a year from now, shouldn’t it be seen as a ruling of the Congress leadership itself?

Soz’ brazenness shows the support he is getting from his own ranks. At the book launch, he made another shocker: That Sardar Patel wanted to exchange Kashmir for Hyderabad with Pakistan. Nobody has asked Congress if it believes in this claim.  And if it doesn’t, would it move to take action against Soz?

There must be a lot in Soz’s persona for Congress to play this game of red herring. And it’s involvement in the Kashmir politics.

The media, mostly TV channels have also merrily stated that Arun Shourie termed the famous “surgical strike” as “farzical strike” in a bid to attack the Modi government. What they haven’t reported and which is highlighted in a Hindi report is that journalists questioned him, pointing out that the claims of “surgical strike” was made by the army itself. So by terming it “farzical strike,” isn’t Shourie insulting our own armed forces?

In response, the news report states, “शौरी ने पत्रकारों को भी गधा बता दिया और फिर गुस्से में निकल गए.(Shourie called journalists as asses and walked out in anger).”

If the above report is true, it throws up very disturbing questions. One, that Shourie sidetracks facts; two, his lack of tolerance and respect for fellows of own profession; and three, the “deep state” within India which advocates Kashmir’s independence and toes the lie of terrorists, ISI and Pakistan.

Above all, independent voices in this country must question these forces and our very own media for their commitment to India’s integrity and sovereignty.

No Gandhi but there could be many Godses

This is a reprint from NewsBred.

Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January 1948. We also know the provocation was Gandhi’s insistence to newly-formed Indian government that Pakistan be paid the obligated Rs.55 crores from the treasury.

Godse’s full statement in his trial was banned for 20 years till the Bombay High Court lifted it in 1968.  It bears a reminder now for both Hindus and Muslims lest a similar communal frenzy overtakes the nation in our lifetimes, abetted by forces who don’t have the interests of Muslims, certainly not of Hindus, and most definitely not of the nation we know as India.

Godse believed Muslims were appeased by Gandhi at the cost of Hindus. He cited several instances such as Khilafat Movement in the early 20s; the move to separate Sind from Bombay presidency in 1928; Mahatma’s “neither support nor opposition” to the Government of India Act of 1935 which allowed elections on communal lines and prepared the way for the horrific Partition; and the Great Calcutta Killingsand Noakhali Riots where lakhs of Hindu men and women paid with their lives and honour.

The Muslim League feared Hindu domination. Hinduphobia was built upon by Jinnah and other leaders of the Muslim League, abetted by British policy of “divide-and-rule.” Gandhi’s desire for a united front of Hindus and Muslims against British never materialized. His doctrine of Ahimsa didn’t work. It only caused rivers of blood to flow in front of his eyes. His turned out to be violent pacifism.

MODERN TIMES: Muslim viewpoint

Fast forward to modern times. Muslims perceive a hostile climate against their lives and food habits abetted by the central BJP government. They don’t stop to question:

(a)if BJP indeed is communal how come it doesn’t react to hundreds of Hindu killings in Kerala and Bengal? Why Advani’s Ayodhya’s rath-yatra was completely bloodless;

(b)How come its first act was to provide new subsidy to Islamic schools;

(c)If BJP indeed was fundmanetalist, how come the most strident Hindu voices such as Arun Shourie and Dr. Subramanium Swamy were never inducted in the Cabinet?

(d)Every time a stray voice, such as Sakshi Maharaj or Jyoti Niranjan go extreme, the government most vehemently come down on it;

HINDU VIEWPOINT

Hindus have their own grouse.

(a)Hindus pride in their religion is termed as “bigotry”;

(b)Hindus can’t come to terms with Ayodhya where Rajiv Gandhi himself had allowed Hindus to worship in 1986 and where all the eminent historians, such as Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib were shown to be manipulating history and archeology by the three-member jury;

(c)Hindus detest when their nose is rubbed on the ground on their cultural sensibility, such as “jallikattu”, “Durga Puja”, “Padmavati” among others;

(d)They feel helpless when the organized intelligentsia of this country (media, academia, Left-Liberals) deny them the platform to air their views. Their viewpoint is never represented;

Above all, Hindus feel that media/Left-Liberals/academics for too long have played the role of British “divide-and-rule” in this country. Fed by foreign money and preachers, missionaries of specific countries of monotheist religions such as Islam and Christianity, every effort is being made to make a pagan religion like Hinduism suffer, and if possible, to disappear.

Englightened Hindus feel aghast that their Muslim brethrens can’t look at the example of the Vajpayee government (1998-2004) and see through this game.

(a)These very same experts had predicted Hindu fascism and that “all Muslims into the Indian Ocean” under the Vajpayee regime;

(b)Despite the Kargil outrage in 1999, Vajpayee stopped the Army to strike across the border at invaders’ base;

(c)It was BJP which had thrown the Indian media market open to foreign media ownership despite the strident opposition by these very forces who today champion the idea of “freedom of speech.”

Hence, I propose a following manifesto for Hindus and Muslims for the safety of their future generations and unity of India (for god’s sake, how many divisions you want, you stupid):

(a)That we are different but we have lived in harmony in the past and we can live in harmony in present and future;

(b)That we would learn our historical lessons and wouldn’t allow India-breakers to play on our fault-lines;

(c)That we would see each other’s point of view on cow-slaughter, such as food habits and religious sensibility and accommodate each other strictly on the laws of the land;

(d)That Hindus would come forward on killings in the name of cow-vigilante and Muslims likewise would question the media’s narrative on Bengal and Kerala as well as constant attempt to denigrate our armed forces;

Above all, our religious moorings shouldn’t be allowed to override our concern for One India, One Unity. A Uniform Civil Code isn’t an attack on Shariat. And if it is, Muslims anyway submit to such rulings in France or Australia. The majority in this country has chosen BJP to lead India’s destiny till 2019 and we ought not to let our communal prejudice or bias interfere in its task.

And certainly not allow these India-breakers a field day. They are desperate and fast losing ground. Their propaganda has no effect on the electorates. India is a virtual heaven in modern comity of nations. Muslims are safer here than in any other non-Muslim country of the world. We shouldn’t become a pawn to a handful of India-breakers who are subsisted, funded and promoted by foreign forces.

Just remember: we can all wear our religious glasses but it must show the horrible future which our children would suffer in times to come.

Jai Hind.