Author Archives: arisebharat

A Rejoinder to Q’s raised on Kashmir Files

There are a number of WA messages doing the rounds, one of which is by Vinta Nanda – A Media Critique. She makes some 11 points but all need not be countered since just 4 of them will show what her whole agenda is. This reply was part of a response on a group, so it would seem verbatim at places.

  1. It has been tried to portray as if all the problems related to Kashmiri pandits exodus and the later genocide began in 1989. This is far from the truth. Many personnel belonging to the army, know that the buildup to an insurgency begins a few years before the actual event happens. 

So what happened since 1984, 

In July 1984, Ghulam Mohammad Shah, ( supported by Indira Gandhi ), replaced his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah and assumed the role of chief minister after Abdullah was dismissed.  G. M. Shah’s administration, did not have people’s mandate and turned to Islamists and opponents of India, notably Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari & Md Shafi Quereshi & Salafi to gain some legitimacy through religious sentiments. This gave political space to Islamists who previously lost overwhelmingly in the 1983 state elections. In 1986, Shah decided to construct a mosque within the premises of an ancient Hindu temple inside the New Civil Secretariat area in Jammu to be made available to the Muslim employees for Namaz.

 In February 1986, Shah on his return to Kashmir valley retaliated and incited the Kashmiri Muslims by saying Islam Khatre Mein Hey (transl. Islam is in danger). As a result, this led to the 86 Kashmir riots  where Kashmiri Hindus were targeted by the Kashmiri Muslims. Many incidents were reported in various areas where Kashmiri Hindus were killed and their properties and temples damaged or destroyed. The worst hit areas were mainly in South Kashmir & Sopore . In Vanpoh, Lukbhavan, Anantnag, Salar and Fatehpur, Muslim mobs plundered or destroyed the properties and temples of Hindus. An investigation of Anantnag riots revealed that members of the ‘secular parties’ in the state, rather than the Islamists, had played a key role in organising the violence to gain political mileage through religious sentiments. Shah called in the army to curb the violence, but it had little effect. His government was dismissed on 12 March 1986, by the then Governor Jagmohan following communal riots in south Kashmir. This led Jagmohan to rule the state directly. The political fight was hence being portrayed as a conflict between “Hindu” New Delhi (Central Government), and its efforts to impose its will in the state, and “Muslim” Kashmir, represented by political Islamists and clerics. 

The Janata Dal under VP singh was in power between 89- 90 only for 1 year..  To attribute the exodus is VP Singh & not the powers that rule the country & after clearly shows what the agenda is. To exonerate a party which had 3/4th majority between 84 to 89 & then bring the focus on just 89 says a lot.

2. Jagmohan was a BJP leader – Fact : Jagmohan was a governor and not a BJP leader when he served as Governor of JnK . In fact he was Lt Gov of Delhi in 1980 when Indira was the PM. He joined the BJP much later after he fell out with Rajiv Gandhi on the way J&K was begin handled. 

3. . Does anyone ask why Valley with lower population had higher representation in the VIdhan sabha. IN such a scenario, how could any party come to power without any one party of the valley viz PDP or NC. The process of delimitation of J&K has started after the BJP came to power. Isnt it ? 

4. The much misused Article 370 & 35A which was the reason why Scheduled caste Hindus were treated as permanent sweepers & scavengers , which discriminated against women & the reason why J&K was the hub for separatism. It was the BJP lead government at the centre which did away with this. How can we forget that ?  

To attribute political interests to this film is an insult to the Hindus of Kashmir who suffered immensely. 

Hindutva before Savarkar: Chandranath Basu’s contribution

  • Makarand Paranjpe

“Hindutva,” as both term and concept, is usually identified with VD Savarkar (1883-1966). His 1923 essay, originally titled, “Essentials of Hindutva” and retitled, “Hindutva: Who is a Hindu” in its 1928 reprint is the most frequently, often the only, cited text in this regard. Even the ever-popular Wikipedia has it wrong in saying that the word was “coined in the early 20th century.” A respected commentator from the right, offering a corrective to such views, wrote a recent article on how “the Hindu nationalist tradition is not alien to West Bengal.”

He is absolutely right. Like most modern ideas in India, “Hindutva,” too, was born in Bengal in the 19th century. But even he fails to mention its probable progenitor. A Bangla tract by that name was published in 1892 by a bhadralok man of letters we have forgotten today. His name is Chandranath Basu (1844-1910). Like many other leading figures of that time, he too studied at the Presidency College, getting a BA in 1865. Hoping to make a lucrative career in law, he also picked up a BL degree a couple of years later. However, he never practised law. He worked for a while in the education department, before being appointed as Deputy Magistrate, like Bankim Chandra Chattopadyaya, the leading literary figure of the times. But that didn’t suit Chandranath either. He returned to education, becoming the Principal of Jaipur College, Calcutta. After a while, he worked for the Bengal (later National) Library, finally being appointed as a translator in the Bengal Government in 1887. Though this may not seem like such an illustrious career move today, in those days it was a Class I officer’s post and quite important to the colonial regime. Chandranath occupied it till his retirement from service in 1904.

Chandranath’s forte, however, was literature. He started, as many young aspirants of his time, in English. He even founded a monthly called Calcutta University Magazine. It was Bankim who urged him to switch to Bangla as he himself had done after his own false start, Rajmohan’s Wife (1864), an incomplete, some say, first Indian novel in English. Chandranath began to publish in Bangadarshan, Bankim’s journal, the preeminent literary periodical of the day. He soon made a name for himself, publishing in other leading magazines including Girish Chandra Ghosh’s Bengalee, Akshaychandra’s Nabajiban, and so on. Rabindranath Tagore knew him well and mentions him in his reminiscences. An index of his importance is his election as the Vice chairman of the Bangia Sahitya Parishad in 1896 and Chairman in 1897. Earlier incumbents included its founding Chairman, Romesh Chandra Dutta (1848-1909), ICS, economic historian, and translator of the Ramayana and Mahabharata into English verse. Tagore himself had served as the co-Vice-Chairman of the Parishad with Nabinchandra Sen.

Chandranath wrote several books including Shakuntala Tattva (1881). Note his use of “tattva” (reality or essence), long before he used it to coin “Hindutva.” The rediscovery and translation of Kalidas’ Shakuntala in 1789 led to a lively discussion of its greatness among the Bangla intelligentsia. Kalidas’s play became central to the conceptualisation of a modern Indian aesthetic tradition. Not only Chandranath, but Tagore also wrote on this key text. Later, Acharya Hazariprasad Dwivedi would also discuss Chandranath’s Shakuntala Tattva. Chandranath went on to write a historical novel, Pashupati Sambad (1884), a critical survey of the newly emergent Bangla literature, a product of the Renaissance in which he himself was an important actor, Bartaman Babgala Sahityer Prokriti (1899), and several other books, some of which also tried to define Hindu traditions and practices. Of these, the most important, of course, was Hindutva (1892). He was to resort to the same principle of going to the fundamentals (tattva) in his last major book, Savitri Tattva (1901) too.

Unfortunately, no one I know has read Chandranath’s Hindutva. Though it is referred to in several scholarly studies of 19th century Hindu reform movements, not a single scholar offers a detailed study or analysis. It is neither available in English translation nor, it would seem, easy to get in Bangla. The longest reference to it in English that I could find was in this “Critical Notice” in the Calcutta Review of July 1894:

“Babu Chandra Nath’s is the first work which treats of the Hindu articles of faith. It aims at being an exposition of the deepest and abstrusest doctrines of Hinduism, not in a spirit of apology, not in a spirit of bombast, but in a calm and dispassionate spirit. The work is a difficult one. The Hindus are notorious for the diversity of their transcendental doctrines, every individual school having a complete set of doctrines of its own. Babu Chandra Nath has selected the noblest doctrines of Hinduism, but he has not followed any one of the ancient schools. Yet he does not aim at establishing a school of doctrine himself. His sole object is to compare, so far as lies in his power, the leading doctrines of Hindu faith with those of other of other religions.”

I have quoted at length to show how such a comment certainly whets, but satisfies neither our intellectual curiosity nor scholarly appetite.

I have often argued, as in my book Making India (2015), that the 19th century offers the key to our understanding of what transpired afterwards, how we ended up becoming what we are today. With the renewed interest in the pre-history of Hindutva, I hope some institution or scholar will assume the much-needed commission of republishing Chandranath’s pioneering treatise. It will be one more step in the direction of creating an alternative narrative of recent Indian history.

The author is a poet and Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Source : DNA India

The Hour of God by Sri Aurobindo

The Hour of God

There are moments when the Spirit moves among men and the breath of the Lord is abroad upon the waters of our being; there are others when it retires and men are left to act in the strength or the weakness of their own egoism. The first are periods when even a little effort produces great results and changes destiny; the second are spaces of time when much labour goes to the making of a little result. It is true that the latter may prepare the former, may be the little smoke of sacrifice going up to heaven which calls down the rain of God’s bounty. Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it, because the lamp has not been kept trimmed for the welcome and the ears are sealed to the call. But thrice woe to them who are strong and ready, yet waste the force or misuse the moment; for them is irreparable loss or a great destruction.

In the hour of God cleanse thy soul of all self-deceit and hypocrisy and vain self-flattering that thou mayst look straight into thy spirit and hear that which summons it. All insincerity of nature, once thy defence against the eye of the Master and the light of the ideal, becomes now a gap in thy armour and invites the blow. Even if thou conquer for the moment, it is the worse for thee, for the blow shall come afterwards and cast thee down in the midst of thy triumph. But being pure cast aside all fear; for the hour is often terrible, a fire and a whirlwind and a tempest, a treading of the winepress of the wrath of God; but he who can stand up in it on the truth of his purpose is he who shall stand; even though he fall, he shall rise again, even though he seem to pass on the wings of the wind, he shall return. Nor let worldly prudence whisper too closely in thy ear; for it is the hour of the unexpected, the incalculable, the immeasurable. Mete not the power of the Breath by thy petty instruments, but trust and go forward.

But most keep thy soul clear, even if for a while, of the clamour of the ego. Then shall a fire march before thee in the night and the storm be thy helper and thy flag shall wave on the highest height of the greatness that was to be conquered.

–Sri Aurobindo, The Hour of God, in Essays Divine and Human, CWSA Vol. 12, p. 155

Committed to the cause of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya

Shri Kalyan Singh as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh played a crucial role in the Ram Janmbhoomi movement. He always takes pride in the fact that the disputed structure was demolished during his tenure. Excerpts from an interview Shri Singh gave to Organiser on July 14, 1991.

Q. How do you plan to deal with the Ram Janmbhoomi issue ?

I am committed to allow the construction of the temple at Ayodhya. I declared this at Ayodhya on July 13, in the presence of a number of people present there, including some senior leaders of BJP.

I have also appealed to Muslim leaders of the State to support the Government for this cause. Their response is positive. I am confident ; a way will be found, keeping in view the sentiments of all concerned.

Q.  How can you succeed in your effort where the previous Governments have failed?

The previous Governments were not sincere in fact, they did not want the construction of Ram Temple. Their approach was negative. They were creating all sorts of hurdles in the way. My Governments will clear the way for VHP to construct the temple.

Q. Do you intend to acquire the land for this purpose ?

All steps necessary for this purpose will be taken. I have already talked to senior BJP leaders in this regard. I have also appealed to Muslim leaders of State to support the Government for this cause. Their response is positive. I am confident; a way will be found, keeping in view the sentiments of all concerned.

Q. Do you propose to take away action against guilty officers in respect of atrocities against Karsevaks ?

The inquiry commission set up by the previous Government was only an eyewash. A new commission will be set up to enquire into the questions as to what led to the tragic events of October 30 and november 2. Suitable actions will be taken against the quilty officers who exceed their jurisdiction in committing atrocities on the innocent people. The commission will also enquire into the riots which broke out in UP after these events.

Guruji Golwalkar of RSS on Indianization of Muslims

The fact is that the tradition of the land and temperament of the Hindus adhere to the concept of equal respect for religions & philosophies. However, politics prevented the assimilation of Muslims, which should have been a natural course of history. This historical tradition of evolution is defined as Indianization. Guruji says it does not mean converting other religionists into Hindus. He unambiguously and succinctly defined the concept as follow :

“Let us realise and believe that we are all children of this soil coming from the same stock, that our great forefathers were one, and that our aspirations are also one. This is all. I believe, the meaning of Indianisation.”

The opposition to the very connotation and concept is astonishing. He says, “It seems that this sacred country, immortal nation is a victim of some curse otherwise instead of showing repugnance to this very word it would have been welcomed and appreciated.” (Guruji VII: 356)

The problem arises because Indian Muslims show affinity with aggressors and identify with them. Guruji makes a distinction between aggressors and Indian Muslims, “the aggressors were foreigners and have nothing in common with the Muslims here. Let our Muslims here say that they are of this land and the past aggressors and their aggressions are not part of their heritage.”(G2000: 493) He is not demeaning Muslims but it is a demand for cultural regeneration of Muslims. Indianisation means owning India’s past beyond religious history and profile. Guruji presents Indonesian model before the Indian Muslims. Indonesia where majority professes Islam and controls society and politics have Hindu names (like Sukarna, Kartikeya.) They worship Ganesh and Saraswati, read with reverence Ramayana. However the Indian Muslims adopt Arabian instead of Indianised names. He says. “After all Indonesia is a big Muslim country. Yet Muslims have not been cut off from the tradition, culture and language. They have adopted names, like Sukarma, Ratnadevi. Does it mean they cease to be Muslims? But in India the first thing for a convert is to adopt the Arabic name. This is substantiated by the following example. In Perayur in Mudarai district (Tamilnadu) some villagers embraced Islam in 1984 and 1994. Mathu Karuppiah became Saddam Hussain in 1984.

Indianization is not at all dilution of one’s faith. It is a creation of motivating force for cultural unity and loyalty to the Motherland. To consider it as superimposition of Hinduism on Muslims shows lamentable lack of understanding the cultural assimilation and its consequences in Indian history. Guruji says, “I have no quarrel with any class, community or sect wanting to maintain its identity so long as that identity does not detract from its patriotic feeling.

Excerpt from the book ” Shri Guruji and Indian Muslims ”