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Don’t Use Savarkar In Your Agenda To Vilify Gau-Rakshaks; He Was An Advocate Of Cow Protection

By Arihant Pawariya for Swarajya

Snapshot
  • The narrative the media are trying to build — that Savarkar was somehow against cow protection itself and would’ve admonished gau-rakshaks — will fall flat because nothing can be farther from the truth. He was a vocal advocate of gau-raksha. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Last month witnessed the release of two back-to-back biographies of Savarkar by Vikram Sampath and Vaibhav Purandare.

The fact that it took almost half a century for an English biography of a nationalistic icon to come out speaks volumes about our national apathy towards revolutionary anti-colonial heroes.

Perhaps it is a manifestation of the changing times that we are finally ready to stop demonising them and regurgitating the colonial propaganda, and stop insulting our martyrs by calling them misguided patriots or terrorists.

Both the works of Sampath and Purandare provide ample ammunition in helping understand the Savarkar phenomenon.

There is a lot to be learnt and celebrated about him — the difficult but inspiring childhood of a precocious boy, his role in the revolutionary movement for independence, him enduring inhuman incarceration in the Andamans with great fortitude, his Himalayan contribution to Indian political philosophy, his works as a social reformer and what not.

However, the usual suspects in the media, the intellectual heirs of those who have ignored or demonised Savarkar for decades, are not interested in highlighting any of these aspects.

Most of them are instead publishing excerpts from the books where Savarkar makes a case to not treat the bovine as divine. In the interviews with authors, leading questions about his views on cow worship are asked so that Savarkar can be used to run down present day gau-rakshaks.

The narrative they are trying to build — that Savarkar was somehow against cow protection itself and would’ve admonished gau-rakshaks — will fall flat because nothing can be farther from the truth. He was a vocal advocate of gau-raksha.

In fact, Savarkar’s first brush with communal riots as a 11-year old boy in his hometown Bhagur, was also precipitated by cow-related violence among other things. As Sampath writes, ‘these experiences taught him how poorly organized and disunited the Hindu community was’ and ‘this made Hindus doubly vulnerable to attacks.’

Yes, Savarkar didn’t want Hindu society to treat the cow as a divine creature. “The cow eats at one end and expels urine and dung at the other end. When it is tired it lies down in its own filth. Then it uses its tail (which we call beautiful) to spread this filth all over its body. How can a creature which does not understand cleanliness be considered divine?,” he reasoned.

“Why are cow’s urine and dung purifying while even the shadow of a man like Ambedkar is defiling?” Savarkar raised a pertinent question to Hindu society.

When it came to cows, his approach was utilitarian. He believed the cow was meant for the man and not the other way around, hence, it must be looked after well to maximise her usefulness. After all, the Hindus treated the cow as holy only because she was so useful to them.

Today, some vested interests are quoting aforementioned arguments of Savarkar to run down gau-rakshaks but his intention was exactly the opposite. “I criticized the false notions involved in cow worship with the aim of removing the chaff and preserving the essence so that cow protection may be better achieved,” he said.

Clearly he was making a case that worshiping the cow was of no use if it is prioritized over its protection. He said,

A worshipful attitude is necessary for protection. But it is improper to forget the duty of cow protection and indulging only in worship. The word ‘only’ used here is important. First protect the cow and then worship it if you so desire.

This is a far cry from what the trigger-happy Hindutva-baiters want us to believe by quoting Savarkar out of context, exactly the same modus operandi they have employed in painting him as a British stooge based on the mercy petitions written by him during his incarceration in the Andamans.

In any case, Savarkar’s appeal to Hindus to not consider the bovine as divine was in no way a nod for non-Hindus to go ahead with killing cows as if it was their religious duty.

As Purandare writes, “Savarkar wrote that Hindus might be naive but they weren’t cruel” unlike those who kill the cow as part of their “dharma”’ and thus had “no right to ridicule cow worshippers for their beliefs”.

Savarkar charged cow killers with possessing an ‘asuric instinct’ and urged all non-Hindus to “discard their religious cow hatred and consider cow protection done for economic reasons to be their duty.”

Some too-clever-by-half agenda-peddlers have even said that Savarkar advocated eating beef, conveniently throwing the context again in the dustbin. He was talking of extreme situations.

If a fortified city of the Hindu nation was under siege and was running out of rations, then rather than dying of starvation and surrendering, he believes it would be better to slaughter cows, use their flesh as food, to fight and defeat the enemy.

According to Savarkar, sacrificing the cow was acceptable in national interest. He cited examples of Indians kings who would capitulate in front of foreign invaders whenever the latter threatened to harm the cows, temples or Brahmins.

“Foolishness led to the sacrifice of the nation for the sake of a few cows and Brahmins and temples,” he said.

Savarkar was forthright and unwavering in his views. It will serve us all well if we attempt to understand why he said the things that are being gleefully misused by the media. Quoting him without context is a disservice to his memory and will not work in this day of social media awareness.

Arihant Pawariya is Senior Editor, Swarajya.

9 अगस्त की सत्यता: इतिहास, भारत और औपनिवेशिक शक्तियां

-डॉ. मन्ना लाल रावत

हमारे जीवन में त्योहारों और उत्सवों का बड़ा महत्व है और भारतीय संस्कृति को तो त्यौहार और उत्सवों की संस्कृति रूप ही जाता है। जनजाति समाज के बंधु-भगिनियों में स्वाभाविक रूप से संस्कृति के सभी पक्षों से लगाव रहा है जो हमारी एक प्रमुख पहचान भी है। इसके माध्यम से हम अपनी सांस्कृतिक मूल्यों को जीवंत बनाए रखते हैं, परंतु विगत 2-3 वर्षों से एक नई प्रवृति आई है जिसे 9 अगस्त यानि विश्व आदिवासी दिवस के रूप में मनाये जाने के रूप् में देख सकते हैं। यह आयोजन बिना ऐतिहासिक सत्यता जाने और बिना भारत के संदर्भ के होने लगा है। हद तो ये है कि इसमें कई बुद्धिजीवी भी सम्मिलित होने लगे और शासन स्तर पर कुछ लोक लुभावने नीतिगत निर्णय भी होने लगे परंतु भारत गणराज्य के रूप में इस दिन की सत्यता को जानना अत्यंत आवश्यक है क्योंकि यह प्रश्न मात्र जनजाति समाज-संस्कृति का ही नहीं है बल्कि देश की संप्रभुता और राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से भी कीमती हो जाता है।

9 अगस्त, दिवस की ऐतिहासिक सत्यता:- हमें याद है कि मध्य काल में भौगोलिक खोजों के दौरान स्पेन और पुर्तगाल के राजाओं ने कैसे अग्रणी प्रयास किए। इस दौर में कैथोलिक मिशन की आर्थिक मदद से भारतवर्ष के व्यापार मार्ग खोजने के उद्देश्य से एक नाविक कोलंबस को समुद्री मिशन पर भेजा गया जिसके द्वारा भूलवश 12 अक्टूबर, 1492 को नई दुनिया की खोज की गई। नई दुनिया कुछ और नहीं, बल्कि उत्तरी अमेरिका का पूर्वी तट था। इस काल खण्ड में पुरे अमेरिकी महाद्वीप पर मूल निवासियों का अधिपत्य था जिसमें चेरोकी, चिकासौ, चोक्ताव, मास्कोगी और सेमिनोल प्रमुख थीं। इन सभी मूलनिवासियों को कोलंबस ने इंडियन कहा। कोलंबस की खोज के बाद धीरे-धीरे यूरोपीय शक्तियों ने अमेरिका में अपना साम्राज्य फैलाने की पूरी रूपरेखा तैयार की और सबसे पहले यहां के मूल निवासियों से संघर्ष करना पडा। इस क्रम में सबसे पहला युद्ध वर्जिन्या प्रांत में पवहाटन आदिवासियों से करना पड़ा। तीन युद्ध की इस श्रंृखला में पहला युद्ध 9 अगस्त 1610 को हुआ जिसमें पवहाटन कबीले के सभी सदस्य युद्ध करते हुए मारे गए। यह युद्ध भारतीय इतिहास के संदर्भ में अंग्रेजों के विरूद्ध सन् 1757 में प्लासी के युद्ध के समान माना जाता है। इस युद्ध की जीत के साथ ही अंग्रेजों को अमेरिका के आदिवासियों को पूरी तरह से खत्म करने का रास्ता खोल दिया।

त्रासदी भरी इस यात्रा में ‘आंसुओं की रेखा‘ व ‘धर्म प्रचार की शुरुआत करने के दिवस‘ को भी जानना आवश्यक है।

इस बात के समय में लगभग 250 वर्षों में अमेरिका के मूल निवासियों का भारी रक्तपात करके भी यूरोपीय शक्तियां केवल थोड़े से भैगोलिक भूभाग पर ही अपना आधिपत्य जमा सकी थीं, तब जॉर्ज वाशिंगटन और हन्नी नॉक्स के नेतृत्व में पहला ब्रिटिश-अमेरिकी युद्ध शुरू हुआ। इस युद्ध में सफलता अमेरिका को मिली एवं पेरिस की संधि के तहत अमरीकी कॉलोनी पर अधिकार, अमेरिका को मिला परन्तु और अधिक भूभागों पर कब्जा करके उसे आपस में बांटने की भी संधि हुई इंडियन रिमूवल ऐक्ट, 1830 के तहत सभी मूलनिवासी को जोर जबरदस्ती मिसिसिपी नदी के उस पार धकेला गया। इस संघर्ष में 30,000 स्थानीय मूल निवासियों (आदिवासीजन) रास्ते में ही मर-खप गए। यह घटना श्ज्ीम जतंपस व िज्मंतेश् (आंसुओं की रेखा) कहलाती है। इस दरमियान इतनी संख्या में मूलनिवासी लोग मारे गए कि मात्र 5 प्रतिशत ही जीवित बच सके।

काल साक्षी है कि क्रूरता का भी अपना एक लम्बा इतिहास है। इसके संवाहक शक्तियां अपने पुरखों की उपलब्धियों को समृतियों रूप में जिंदा रखने की कुचेष्ठा करती है और क्रूरता के इतिहास को जश्न में भी बदलना चाहती है। 12 अक्टूबर, 1992 कोलंबस की नई दुनिया की खोज के 500 वर्ष पूरे होने पर औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों ने एक बड़ा जश्न मनाने की योजना बनाई परंतु इन उत्सवों के विरोध में ‘कोलंबस चले जाव‘ नाम से एक अभियान चलाया गया। इस अभियान को शांत करने के लिए अपराध बोध के भाव से इस दिन को अमेरिका का ‘इंडिजिनस पीपल्स डे‘ घोषित किया गया। संयुक्त राष्ट्र द्वारा विश्व मूलनिवासी दिवस भी 12 अक्टूबर को ही मनाया था, मगर अमेरिका में विरोध और ब्रिटिश-पवहाटन युद्ध में ब्रिटेन की सत्ता वर्जिन्या प्रांत में स्थापित होने के कारण वहां धर्म प्रचार की शुरुआत करने का मौका प्राप्त हुआ। वह दिन भी 9 अगस्त ही था। क्रूरता के इतिहास के इस दिन को यादगार बनाने के लिए संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ में एक गुप्त षड्यंत्र के तहत 9 अगस्त को ‘मूल निवासी दिवस‘ मनाने का निर्णय लिया गया।

अब आप समझ गये होंगे कि ‘मूलनिवासी दिवस‘ इतिहास के तथ्य व मर्म क्या हैं़? वास्तव में 9 अगस्त, 1610 को अमेरिका के मूल निवासी यदि ब्रिटिश सेना से अपना पहला युद्ध नहीं हारते तो आज भी अमेरिका के मूल निवासी पुरे अमेरिकी महाद्वीप के शासक होते। उनकी सभ्यता एवं संस्कृति अक्षुण्य रहती। उनका इतिहास भी उज्जवल व समृद्ध होता। क्या मूलनिवासी समूहों को अंग्रेजों द्वारा खत्म कर दिया गया या नहीं? क्या उक्त मूलनिवासी समूह के इतिहास से हम भारतीय को कुछ सीखने की आवश्यकता नहीं है? हमें याद रखना चाहिए कि यू.एन. की वर्किंग ग्रुप की विश्व मजदूर संगठन (प्स्व्) की पहली बैठक 1989 का हवाला दिया गया है, जो 9 अगस्त की तिथि की ओर संकेत करता है। यह वास्तव में एक सफेद झूठ है।

9 अगस्त: यू.एन. के मंच से वैश्विक बाजार में भ्रामक सूचनाओं का प्रसार विश्व मजदूर संगठन (प्स्व्) मजदूर के अधिकारों के कार्य हेतु एक विश्व स्तरीय संगठन है जिसका उद्देश्य मजदूरों के अधिकारों की रक्षा करना है। इसके द्वारा 1989 में ‘राइट्स ऑफ इंडियन पीपल कन्वेंशन‘ क्रमांक 169 घोषित किया गया जिसमें ‘इंडिजिनस पीपल‘ शब्द का प्रयोग किया गया परंतु किसी परिभाषा में इसे स्पष्ट नहीं किया गया है। इसका मुख्य संबंध तत्कालीन औपनिवेशिक कॉलोनी से है, जहां बड़ी संख्या में देशज लोग रहते हैं जो वहां तब भी दूसरे दर्जे के नागरिक निवासरत थे। भारत ने इस संधि पर हस्ताक्षर नहीं किए थे क्योंकि इसका संदर्भ भारत से नहीं था।
इस संधि की विफलता को देखते हुए विश्व मजदूर संगठन (प्स्व्) द्वारा इस विषय पर और अधिक आम राय बनाने और अन्य देशों को इस हेतु शामिल करने का काम करने के उद्देश्य से एक अलग संस्था बनाकर इस घोषणापत्र को अधिक से अधिक देशों द्वारा स्वीकार कराने का मंतव्य बनाया गया। इस दिशा में ‘वर्किंग ग्रुप फॉर इंडिजिनस पीपल‘ (ॅळप्च्) का गठन किया गया। ॅळप्च् की पहली बैठक 9 अगस्त को हुई थी, इसलिए सन् 1994 में 9 अगस्त को ‘विश्व इंडिजिनस पीपल डे‘ मनाने की घोषणा संयुक्त राष्ट्र द्वारा की गई। कई देशों में इस दिन अवकाश रखा जाने लगा।

हमें याद रचाना चाहिए कि वर्किंग ग्रुप फॉर इंडिजिनस पीपल द्वारा लगभग 20 वर्षों तक विचार विमर्श के उपरांत एक घोषणा पत्र जारी किया गया जो विश्व मजदूर संगठन के 1989 की संधि क्रमांक 169 का ही विकसित/संशोधित/परिमार्जित रूप था। यू.एन. द्वारा इस विषय पर आयोजित मतदान में 13 सितम्बर, 2007 को, में भारत गणराज्य की ओर से श्री अजय मल्होत्रा ने भारत का आधिकारिक मत रखा जो हमारे संप्रभूता, नागरिकों के मूलाधिकारों के साथ ही देश के सभी निवासी देश के मूलनिवासी होने के तथ्यों को लिए हुए था।
9 अगस्त का महत्व औपनिवेशिक शक्तियां सदा ही अपने क्रूरता के इतिहास को जीवित रखने की कोशिश करती रहीं हैं। अमेरिकी मूल निवासियों की धरती पर कोलंबस द्वारा पैर रखने के दिवस 12 अक्टूबर को ‘नेशनल इंडिजिनस पीपल डे/कोलंबस डे‘ जिसे ‘थैंक्स गिविंग डे‘ के रूप में मनाया जाता है, को ही ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े के रूप में मनाने की कोशिश की गई थी परंतु विवाद होने की और अमेरिका सहित कई देशों में मूलनिवासियों पर यूरोपीय औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों के अमानवीय कृतियों के पुनः उजागर एवं आधुनिक जगत में प्रसारित होने के भय से इस प्रस्ताव पर सहमति नहीं बन पाइर्, परंतु 1992 में 500 वर्ष पूरे होने के अवसर को ॅळप्च् द्वारा ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े मनाने के प्रस्ताव को 2 वर्ष के लिए टालना पड़ा। वर्ष 1994 में ैजण् ज्मतमें ठमदमकपबजं व िजीम ब्तवेे ;म्कपजी ैजमपदद्ध थ्मंेज क्ंल यानि 9 अगस्त के दिन हुई बैठक को कई कथोलिक सदस्यों ने शुभ दिन माना, इसलिए इस दिन को ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े (9 अगस्त) की घोषणा की गई। विश्व भर कैथोलिक चर्च थ्मंेज क्ंल को इंडिजिनियस लोगों के मध्य बड़े ही धूमधाम से मनाने हेतु प्रोत्साहित करते हैं। एक मान्यता अनुसार इस दिन से ही अमेरिका में ईसाई धर्म प्रचार की शुरुआत हुई थी, जो क्रिसमस या अंग्रेजी नव वर्ष तक जारी रहता है।

बाबा साहब भीम राव आम्बेडकर सहित सभी ने इस बात को संविधान निर्माताओं ने अपने प्रखर बुद्धिमत्ता से स्थापित भी किया है कि भारत में सभीजन इस देश के मूल निवासी हैं परंतु यह क्या कुछ तत्वों के प्रभाव में हमारे चिंतक भी हमारे अपने इतिहास और महापुरुषों के एकत्व के विचारों के परे कहां निकल गए? इंडिजिनियस पीपल्स की अवधारणा सहित ये मनगढ़ंत बातें क्या जनजातियों के राष्ट्रीय मूल्यों, स्वतंत्रता हेतु दिये गये बलिदानों की संस्कृति की अनवरत श्रंृखला के गौरव के अनुकूल है? यह हमारा राष्टीय कर्तव्य है कि हम हमारे गणराज्य के यू. एन. में रखे गये मत दिनांक 13 सितम्बर, 2007 के अनुरूप ही चिंतन व कार्यव्यवहार रखें।
 जाने कैसी हवा चली और भारतवर्ष में भोला भाला जनजाति समाज एक भेड़ चाल का हिस्सा बनकर मूलनिवासियों के पतन ऐतिहासिक दिन 9 अगस्त को, विश्व मूलनिवासी दिवस मनाने लगे; जबकि यह अमेरिकी मूल निवासियों के नरसंहार का दिन है। इस दिन पवहाटन युद्ध में पांच मूलनिवासी कबीलों के नष्ट होने का दिवस जिसे औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों ने बड़ी चतुराई से संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ के मंचों का उपयोग करते हुए सजावटी तौर पर प्रस्तुत किया है। यह सजावटी दिवस भारतीय संप्रभुता, भारतीय गौरवशाली इतिहास और जनजाति समाज के स्वतंत्रता सैनानियों/नायकों द्वारा औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों के विरुकिये गये अपने संघर्ष और बलिदानों की सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि नहीं हो सकता। हमारा प्रश्न हमारे पूर्वजों के प्रति प्रतिबद्धता और राष्ट्रीय मूल्यों में आस्था का ही रहा है व इसी के लिए हम नतमस्तक होते हैं। साथ ही साथ विश्व समाज में अमेरिकी आदिवासियों के समुदायों को नष्ट करने वाले विदेशी तत्वों के विरुद्ध ही होना चाहिए, क्योंकि 9 अगस्त को हर वर्ष कई हजार मूलनिवासी संयुक्त राष्ट्र के मुख्यालय के बाहर अपने पुरखों के पक्ष में खडे होकर 9 अगस्त, 1610 के क्रुर युद्ध की रीति, नीति व गति के विरोध में आंदोलन करते हैं, और तो फिर हम संवेदनशील, चिंतनशील व विवेकशील मानस वाले होकर भी 9 अगस्त को उत्सव कैसे बना सकते हैं?
……) का गठन किया गया। ॅळप्च् की पहली बैठक 9 अगस्त को हुई थी, इसलिए सन् 1994 में 9 अगस्त को ‘विश्व इंडिजिनस पीपल डे‘ मनाने की घोषणा संयुक्त राष्ट्र द्वारा की गई। कई देशों में इस दिन अवकाश रखा जाने लगा।

हमें याद रचाना चाहिए कि वर्किंग ग्रुप फॉर इंडिजिनस पीपल द्वारा लगभग 20 वर्षों तक विचार विमर्श के उपरांत एक घोषणा पत्र जारी किया गया जो विश्व मजदूर संगठन के 1989 की संधि क्रमांक 169 का ही विकसित/संशोधित/परिमार्जित रूप था। यू.एन. द्वारा इस विषय पर आयोजित मतदान में 13 सितम्बर, 2007 को, में भारत गणराज्य की ओर से श्री अजय मल्होत्रा ने भारत का आधिकारिक मत रखा जो हमारे संप्रभूता, नागरिकों के मूलाधिकारों के साथ ही देश के सभी निवासी देश के मूलनिवासी होने के तथ्यों को लिए हुए था।
9 अगस्त का महत्व औपनिवेशिक शक्तियां सदा ही अपने क्रूरता के इतिहास को जीवित रखने की कोशिश करती रहीं हैं। अमेरिकी मूल निवासियों की धरती पर कोलंबस द्वारा पैर रखने के दिवस 12 अक्टूबर को ‘नेशनल इंडिजिनस पीपल डे/कोलंबस डे‘ जिसे ‘थैंक्स गिविंग डे‘ के रूप में मनाया जाता है, को ही ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े के रूप में मनाने की कोशिश की गई थी परंतु विवाद होने की और अमेरिका सहित कई देशों में मूलनिवासियों पर यूरोपीय औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों के अमानवीय कृतियों के पुनः उजागर एवं आधुनिक जगत में प्रसारित होने के भय से इस प्रस्ताव पर सहमति नहीं बन पाइर्, परंतु 1992 में 500 वर्ष पूरे होने के अवसर को ॅळप्च् द्वारा ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े मनाने के प्रस्ताव को 2 वर्ष के लिए टालना पड़ा। वर्ष 1994 में ैजण् ज्मतमें ठमदमकपबजं व िजीम ब्तवेे ;म्कपजी ैजमपदद्ध थ्मंेज क्ंल यानि 9 अगस्त के दिन हुई बैठक को कई कथोलिक सदस्यों ने शुभ दिन माना, इसलिए इस दिन को ‘विश्व इंडिजिनियस ड‘े (9 अगस्त) की घोषणा की गई। विश्व भर कैथोलिक चर्च थ्मंेज क्ंल को इंडिजिनियस लोगों के मध्य बड़े ही धूमधाम से मनाने हेतु प्रोत्साहित करते हैं। एक मान्यता अनुसार इस दिन से ही अमेरिका में ईसाई धर्म प्रचार की शुरुआत हुई थी, जो क्रिसमस या अंग्रेजी नव वर्ष तक जारी रहता है।

बाबा साहब भीम राव आम्बेडकर सहित सभी ने इस बात को संविधान निर्माताओं ने अपने प्रखर बुद्धिमत्ता से स्थापित भी किया है कि भारत में सभीजन इस देश के मूल निवासी हैं परंतु यह क्या कुछ तत्वों के प्रभाव में हमारे चिंतक भी हमारे अपने इतिहास और महापुरुषों के एकत्व के विचारों के परे कहां निकल गए? इंडिजिनियस पीपल्स की अवधारणा सहित ये मनगढ़ंत बातें क्या जनजातियों के राष्ट्रीय मूल्यों, स्वतंत्रता हेतु दिये गये बलिदानों की संस्कृति की अनवरत श्रंृखला के गौरव के अनुकूल है? यह हमारा राष्टीय कर्तव्य है कि हम हमारे गणराज्य के यू. एन. में रखे गये मत दिनांक 13 सितम्बर, 2007 के अनुरूप ही चिंतन व कार्यव्यवहार रखें।

 जाने कैसी हवा चली और भारतवर्ष में भोला भाला जनजाति समाज एक भेड़ चाल का हिस्सा बनकर मूलनिवासियों के पतन ऐतिहासिक दिन 9 अगस्त को, विश्व मूलनिवासी दिवस मनाने लगे; जबकि यह अमेरिकी मूल निवासियों के नरसंहार का दिन है। इस दिन पवहाटन युद्ध में पांच मूलनिवासी कबीलों के नष्ट होने का दिवस जिसे औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों ने बड़ी चतुराई से संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ के मंचों का उपयोग करते हुए सजावटी तौर पर प्रस्तुत किया है। यह सजावटी दिवस भारतीय संप्रभुता, भारतीय गौरवशाली इतिहास और जनजाति समाज के स्वतंत्रता सैनानियों/नायकों द्वारा औपनिवेशिक शक्तियों के विरुकिये गये अपने संघर्ष और बलिदानों की सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि नहीं हो सकता। हमारा प्रश्न हमारे पूर्वजों के प्रति प्रतिबद्धता और राष्ट्रीय मूल्यों में आस्था का ही रहा है व इसी के लिए हम नतमस्तक होते हैं। साथ ही साथ विश्व समाज में अमेरिकी आदिवासियों के समुदायों को नष्ट करने वाले विदेशी तत्वों के विरुद्ध ही होना चाहिए, क्योंकि 9 अगस्त को हर वर्ष कई हजार मूलनिवासी संयुक्त राष्ट्र के मुख्यालय के बाहर अपने पुरखों के पक्ष में खडे होकर 9 अगस्त, 1610 के क्रुर युद्ध की रीति, नीति व गति के विरोध में आंदोलन करते हैं, और तो फिर हम संवेदनशील, चिंतनशील व विवेकशील मानस वाले होकर भी 9 अगस्त को उत्सव कैसे बना सकते हैं?

Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui suffered from Islamism

Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was embedded with a convoy of Afghan forces, was killed by Taliban militants last week. India’s far-left ecosystem, predictably,  exonerated Taliban by pinning the blame on the bullet. Taliban corroborated their apologists’ stand by saying “we do not know whose bullet killed” the journalist.

Siddiqui, who was part of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, shot to fame with his morbid images of burning funeral pyres in India.

His death sharply divided netizens. Those who celebrated the death of famous TV Anchor Rohit Sardana barely couple of months back were mourning the death of Danish Siddiqui and preaching civility and grace to those sharing Siddiqui’s innately negative stories about India.

Many argue that Danish Siddiqui’s camera suffered from monocular impairment. A glance at his Twitter timeline and political commentaries do suggest that for him journalism was a tool to further his Islamic pollical ideology.

Intent and leaning of his journalism can be better grasped by omissions he committed.

Hindu Covid deaths:

He covered the Covid-19 crisis in India extensively. His pictures of burning pyres of Hindu victims of Covid-19 made international headlines.

An enraged Twitter user wrote:

TED Talk and Kashmir:

In his TED talk, Danish Siddiqui equated Kashmir with deadly war-torn regions like Iraq and Afghanistan. He offered a lop-sided view of Kashmir and painted the Indian Armed Forces as an oppressive force. He came across as an apologist for Islamic terrorist and stone pelters. He shared a picture an X-ray of a boy’s skull who suffered pellet injuries but not a word on ghastly attacks on Indian armed forces.

Terrorist Apologist:

Tweet suggest Danish Siddiqui had soft corner for terrorist Afzal Guru, who masterminded the Parliament attack which killed nine security personnel.

He also posted Tweets supporting Ishrat Jahan, even as the convicted terrorist David Headley had implicated Ishrat in terrorist activities in a statement given to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Mocked Hindu Festivals:

Kumbh and Farmers Protest Double standards:

He raised alarms over Kumbh gathering  but expressed solidarity with large crowd gathered to protest against Farm Bill.

Thousands of mourners filed past the coffin of slain journalist, who was laid to rest in Jamia Millia Islamia, the university that shaped his political outlook. This graveyard is meant only for University employees, their spouses and minor children.

This raises a moot question, should a premiere institute, funded by taxpayers money, allow its campus to glorify someone who shot India with coloured lenses?

Demand for Prophet Mohammed Bill Amidst Rise of Ex-Muslims

By: K Sahadev

Muslim religious groups like Raza Academy and Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat Board and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) have reportedly pressurised the Maharashtra state government to introduce ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’. The aim is to bring an act to stop blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and religious figures of all religions.

As per a report in the Times of India, though the bill is promoted as the ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’, the draft bill prepared and submitted to the government has been titled ‘Prophet Muhammad and Other Religious Heads Prohibition of Slander Act, 2021’ or ‘Hate Speech (Prevention) Act, 2021’.

A group of Muslims in Mumbai has decided to fight provocative and blasphemous posts videos and cartoons through the legal route. Instead of hitting the streets and adopting a confrontational approach, they will counsel youths not to get violent and find remedies within the constitutional framework. Floating a legal cell under Tahaffuz Namoos-e Risalat Board Protection of the Honour of the Prophet Board, the group held its first meeting at Islam Gymkhana on 13 Feb and decided to counter blasphemous and provocative posts and videos in a peaceful and democratic manner.

It has often been seen that Muslim youths get agitated over blasphemous and provocative posts and hi the streets and clash with the police. This results in arson, rioting and then arrests and harassment.

In the recent past, there has been no instance of anyone making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed, why this demand is being made? Could it be due to the rise of ex-Muslims in social media?

RISE OF EX-MUSLIMS:

Till recently, critical analysis of Islam in Youtube/ Social Media was done mostly by Western scholars and ex-Muslims from Syria like Wafa Sultan who is now living in USA. Later on couple of Pakistani expatriates living in countries like USA/Canada/Europe started their own Youtube channels and started expressing their views / life experiences. Few of the popular channels are:
1) Haris Sultan
2) Dr. Fouzia Rauf ( Saraswathi Dasi)
3) Amina Sardar ( No Love for Islam)
4) Mahleej Sarkari.

In India, one of the earliest ex-Muslim YouTube channel was that of Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya, a Muslim cleric who converted to Arya Samaj. Youtube Channels like Jaipur Dialogues, Neeraj Atri conducted discussions on various aspects of Islam. Neeraj Atri has produced around 50 videos in a series labelled Islam for Dummies. In addition to discussions based on Quran/ Hadees with Sri Shankar Sharan evoked lot of interest and following. Simultaneously these channels started hosting Indian ex-Muslims. This paved the way for Indian ex-Muslims to open their own Youtube Channels. Few of them are:

1) Dystopia to Reason
2) Ex-Muslim Zafar Heretic
3) Azad ground ex-Muslim
4) Indian Ex-Muslim Sahil
5) Kali Dasi (Sarah Khan)

These channels started sharing their experiences of ex-Muslims – their life as Muslims, how they became ex-Muslims, reaction of family/society and life after leaving Islam. One of the channels started a series labelled ‘Islam se Insaniyat tak- story of ex-Muslim’ where ex-Muslims share their life experiences.

ARRIVAL OF ‘SACHWALA’:

The quality of discourse in these channels underwent big change with the arrival of an ex-Muslim who calls himself ‘Sachwala’. According to him, from age of 10, he has undergone education in Madrassa and passed many examinations on Islam. He also had a passion for calligraphy. Later on, he went and worked in Saudi Arabia for around 18 years and there he acquired further in-depth knowledge of the Quran, Arabic and its various variants like classical Arabic. As he delved deeper into Islamic literature, the more he was convinced of various fabrications and interpolations. An article in Hindi on him Equipped with in-depth knowledge of Arabic and Islamic literature, he appears in various ex-Muslim YouTube channels with a specific question where people are invited to prove the same through Quranic verses alone. Some of the topics shook the basic foundation of Islam itself. A few of the topics are:

1) Prove that Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed
2) Is not taking of slaves, sex with slaves and sale/purchase of slaves by Prophet Mohammed against humanity?
3) Are declarations of Quran (Bayanat) against communal harmony?
4) Why should I be punished if Allah guides and misguides?
5) Is the present day Mecca the same as the one described in Quran?

These live debates which question the very basic structure of Islam last 3-5 hours and several Muslims come forward to put forth their point of view on above topics. It is worth noting that most of the callers are ordinary Muslims or those who are presently studying in Madrassas. None of the callers are well known figures of Islamic theology or scholars of Islam. Undoubtedly Sachwala has made a deep impact in the online ex-Muslim and Muslim community.

In channels run by women like Kali Dasi or Amina Sardar, women discuss how they became ex-Muslims, torture at hands of family members/ husband. While some have become Hindus after leaving Islam, many remain atheist.
In the course of various debates/ shows, many ex-Muslims join the discourse and they express their desire to discuss their own experiences with Islam. The hosts then include them in their ‘Islam to Insaniat’ series. Quite a few ex-Muslim women from India/ Pakistan who are now living elsewhere are also coming together and are on the verge of starting a separate ex-Muslim women’s channel. With Urdu being understood both in Pakistan and in India, these channels are having an impact in both countries.

EX-MUSLIM WOMEN DISCUSSING IN YOUTUBE LIVE:

In addition, the free and easy availability of the Quran in several languages, Hadees in English, books written by Ali Sina ( Understanding Mohammed ) etc. have spurred a big debate on Islam, its founder Prophet Mohammed, various wars fought in the course of the expansion of Islam, enormous suffering of humanity at the hands of Islam. Massacre of innocents in wars led by Prophet Mohammed, the capture of women and children as slaves particularly the battle with Banu Quraiza and capture of one of the wives of Safiya as a slave are being heard for the first time by Muslims. The marriage of 6-year-old Aisha with 54-year-old Prophet Mohammed is cited by women ex-Muslims as a prime motivator for leaving Islam.

It can be safely concluded that as critical analysis of Islam or open criticism of Prophet Mohammed in cyberspace has spurred Islamic clerics to put forth the demand for a Prophet Mohammed blasphemy law. Unable to counter threadbare discussion of Islam and Prophet Mohammed, through traditional methods like street protests, threats to life, Islamic clerics want to silence these channels through legislation. Such a demand was made in Pakistan and the Pakistan- Punjab assembly passed a resolution in May 2020 to this effect. A similar demand is being in India now.

(Author is Research Associate at ‘Center for South Indian Studies’, Hyderabad)

Payment of monthly honorarium to religious workers by Govt. of AP –Will it stand Judicial scrutiny

By: K. Sahadev

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued orders vide GENERAL ADMINISTRATION (SC.I) DEPARTMENT G.O.MS.No. 52 Dated: 14-05-2021, enhancing financial support to the religious workers in places of worship of two important religious communities of the State viz., Hindus, Muslims. In the case of Christians, it is a new scheme. It leaves out three other minorities- Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The present G.O cites “ensuring religious harmony” in the state as the main objective of payment of monthly honorarium to religious workers of different religions. The G.O. further mentions extension of payment to functionaries working in churches is similar to the support being given to the Archakas working in temples and Imams/Muezzins working in mosques. However, this is a false comparison as the G.O. very clear states that quantum of payment to Archakas is based on grade of the temple, which in turn depends upon income generated by the temple. It clearly means that Hindu temple archakas are NOT paid out of public exchequer.

The Scheme for Payment of Honorarium to Imams and Muezzins of Mosques in Andhra Pradesh commenced in June 2016. The G.O. mentions that:

The scheme for payment of Honorarium to the selected Imams and Muezzins of the non-income earning Masjids in the State of Andhra Pradesh is intended to support the Andhra Pradesh State Waqf Board since the Board is not in a position to meet the expenditure. The Andhra Pradesh State Waqf Board shall take steps to strengthen the respective Waqf institutions to attain self-sufficiency to meet the expenditure.

The latest order marks the beginning of state funding of religious workers in Andhra Pradesh. Promoting communal harmony was not the objective stated at in 2016. The new G.O. not only increased the quantum of payment for Muslim religious workers but also introduced payment of monthly honorarium for Christian religious workers. But by including the enhancement of honorarium for Hindu archakas in this G.O., an impression is sought to be given out that even they are being paid out of state exchequer, which is factually incorrect. State is yet to show any concern towards Hindu archakas rendering their services in temples without any income. On the contrary, state is meddling with Hindu religious institutions through legislation and administrative actions by arbitrarily fixing the remuneration of Archakas, grading of temples, appointing Executive Officers, interfering in dharmic rituals of temples, disposing off temple assets etc.

CAN PUBLIC FUNDS BE USED FOR PAYMENT TO RELIGIOUS WORKERS?

This raises the larger question whether the public money can be used to pay individuals of a particular religion with the purported objective of ensuring communal harmony?

In 2012, the Government of West Bengal issued instructions for payment of monthly honorarium to Imams in mosques. The decision was challenged in Calcutta High court (W.P. No. 358 of 2012) and the decision of the government was quashed. The highlight of the judgement are:

1) The State Government cannot spend any money for the benefit of few individuals of a particular religious community ignoring the identically placed individuals of the other religious communities since the State cannot discriminate on the ground of religion in view of the Article 15 (1) of the Constitution of India.

2) The State Government by providing funds for making payment of honorarium to the Imams and Muezzins has acted in clear violation of the provisions enshrined under Article 14 and 15 (1) of the Constitution of India.

3) No exercise has been made by the Competent Authority of the State Government to ascertain the financial condition of various other members of the Muslim community as well as members of other religious communities before taking the decision for issuing the impugned memorandum.

4) The public purpose mentioned in Article 282 cannot be a purpose which offends the provisions of Article 14 and 15 (1) of the Constitution of India.

5) Imams and/or Muezzins are few individuals of the Muslim community and attached with the mosques. Decision to provide honorarium to the said individuals cannot serve the general interest of the community as a whole.

6) We hold that the impugned memo issued by the State Government is not only discriminatory in nature being violate of Article 14 of the Constitution of India but the same also discriminates on the ground of religion which offends Article 15 (1) of the Constitution of India.

7) We are constrained to hold that the grants made by the State Government for providing honorarium to the Imams and Muezzins were not for the public purpose as mentioned in Article 282 of the Constitution of India

8) Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Sri Divi Kodandarama Saram & Ors. Vs. State of A. P. & Ors., reported in 1997 (6) SCC 189 considered the payment of salary to ‘Archaka’ of Hindu Temple. In the aforesaid decision, Hon’ble Supreme Court made it clear that public fund cannot be utilised for the purpose of making payment of Archakas and trust looking after the temple was advised to collect donation from the public to defray the expenses.

9) No provision has however, been made in the Constitution authorising the State Government to make payment of the honorarium to few individuals of a particular religious community. As a matter of fact, Government cannot spend any money for the benefit of few individuals of a particular religious community to the exclusion of the members of the other religious communities in view of a specific provision of Article 15 (1) of the Constitution.

10) The concerned Executives of the State Government have squandered public money by releasing funds to the Wakf Board for the purpose of making payment of monthly honorarium to the Muezzins even in absence of any government order under Article 166 of the Constitution of India. We take strong exception for spending money even in absence of appropriate government order under Article 166 of the Constitution of India.

Thus it is very clear that payment to religious workers from public funds has been held to be “squandering of public money”. The objective cited in the Govt. of AP G.O. i.e., “communal harmony” also fails to stand judicial scrutiny in view of observation (5) cited in the above judgement. The judges have clearly held that payment to few individuals of a particular community does not serve the interests of all members of that community, leave alone serving promotion of inter-faith communal harmony.

The judgement also referred to a judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in a matter of payment of honorarium to Imams. The hon’ble court clarified that the scheme formulated by the SC was for payment of a uniform scale of salary to Imams from the income of the respective state Wakf Boards and not public funds.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the aforesaid decision never directed the State Government or the Govt. of India to take the responsibility for making payment to the Imams who are admittedly performing the duty of leading the community prayer in the mosques.

KERALA HC JUNE 2021:

June 2021, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday asked the state government, why they were financing a religious activity while considering a petition against the former’s decision to provide pension to madrasa teachers in the state. The order was  issued on a petition filed seeking to quash the Kerala Madrasa Teachers’ Welfare Fund Act, 2019, which is passed for disbursing pension and other benefits to madrasa teachers.

This is an ongoing case but it is pertinent to note that courts have consistently upheld the view that governments cannot finance any religious activity and such actions are unconstitutional. Article 46 of the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India call upon the state to “promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people”.

Anomalies observed in recent payment of honorarium to religious workers in Andhra Pradesh:

In May, 2020, the Government of Andhra Pradesh made a one-time payment to religious workers who are facing hardship and distress of various religious institutions, as a measure of relief arising out of break out of COVID-19 Pandemic. A sum of Rs.33.92 crores was sanctioned out of Disaster Relief funds. The ratio of religious workers to population of that religion as per 2011 was highly irrational. While Christians constituted 1.39 % of the population of AP, Christian religious workers received 43.99 % of total amount paid out. Every 24th Christian in the state is a religious worker, if we go by 2011 census figures for the state of AP.

ANDHRA PRADESH – ONE TIME PAYMENT FROM DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS TO RELIGIOUS SERVICE RENDERERS – RELIGION-WISE FIGURES OF BENEFICIARIES VIS-À-VIS STATE POPULATION

POPULATION OF AP as per Census 2011% OF POPULATON% OF BENEFICIARES: TOTAL BENEFICIARIESTOTAL BENEFICIARIES
HINDUS4,48,75,69890.86 %45.70 %31,017
MUSLIMS36,17,7137.33 %10.31 %7,000
CHRISTIANS6,82,6601.39 %43.99 %29,841
OTHERS2,10,7280.42 %0.00 %0
TOTAL4,93,86,799100.00 %100.00 %67,858

This lead to a peculiar situation wherein, in some areas, the number of Christian religious workers was more than the actual number of Christians in the area. Sample figures from Prakasam district:

MANDALCHRISTIANSNO. OF PASTORS
Naguluppalapadu8475
Ballikurava8449
Pedda Aravidu1633

In addition, data obtained through RTI queries on the details of Christian religious workers who were paid honorarium showed that 60 % of Christian pastors in the sample were holding Hindu community certificates. This raised many questions and exposed a lack of strict scrutiny in the processing of applications for sanction of honorarium to religious workers.

RELIGIOUS COMPOSITION OF CHRISTIAN PASTORS WHO RECEIVED ONE TIME HONORARIUM FROM GOVT. OF AP

(Sample size 347)

CHRISTIAN39.19%
HINDU-SC42.94%
ST1.44%
HINDU-OBC9.51%
HINDU-OC4.32%
NA2.59%
TOAL100%

The present G.O. has laid out 3 eligibility criteria that have to be fulfilled by the applicants to be considered under the scheme.

(a)  Church should be registered under the Societies Act;

(b)  Land should be registered in the name of Church;

(c) The institution should not have any other source of income.

This is in addition to the existing conditions of the Christian religious worker holding a Christian community certificate and being a qualified Christian religious worker. However, the additional eligibility criteria have not gone down well with the Christian religious worker community. In videos and social media posts, they have been pointing out that most of the churches are not registered as societies and they have been functioning from premises owned/taken on rent by the religious worker on an individual basis. In some cases, the churches are functioning from structures raised on public land.  Christian community elders expressed the opinion that not more than 1,000 Christian religious workers will meet the criteria and thus eligible to receive a monthly honorarium. Well established churches, popularly known as mainline churches pay monthly salaries, have regular postings/transfers and promotions. Religious workers from such churches will be out of the purview of the present scheme.

Thus it will be interesting to see whether the present scheme, as outlined above, will stand judicial scrutiny if and when challenged in a court of law. Also, it will be keenly observed whether the government will heed the concerns raised by the Christian community and relax existing eligibility criteria.

Source:

https://www.organiser.org/Encyc/2020/9/10/Andhra-Pradesh-70-percent-Christian-pastors-who-received-govt-honorarium-hold-SC-OBC-caste-certificates.html